Abdominal Imaging

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 632–638

Cumulative ionizing radiation exposure in patients with end stage kidney disease: a 6-year retrospective analysis

  • Joe Coyle
  • Sinead Kinsella
  • Siobhain McCarthy
  • Sebastian MacWilliams
  • Patrick McLaughlin
  • Joseph Eustace
  • Michael M. Maher



To quantify cumulative exposure to ionizing radiation in patients with end stage kidney disease (ESKD). To investigate factors which may be independently associated with risk of high cumulative effective dose (CED).

Materials and methods

The study had local institutional review board ethical approval. We conducted a retrospective study of 394 period prevalent ESKD patients attending a single tertiary referral centre between 2004 and 2009. Patient demographics were obtained from case records. Details of radiological investigations were obtained from the institutional radiology computerized database. CED was calculated using standard procedure specific radiation levels. High exposure was defined as CED > 50 mSv, an exposure which has been reported to increase cancer mortality by 5%. Data were compared using Pearson χ2 and Mann–Whitney U test or Kruskal–Wallis tests.


394 patients were followed for a median of 4 years (1518 patient years follow-up). Of these 63% were male. Seventeen percent of patients had a CED of >50 mSv. Computed tomography (CT) accounted for 9% of total radiological studies/procedures while contributing 61.4% of total study dose. Median cumulative dose and median dose per patient year were significantly higher in the hemodialysis (HD) group (15.13 and 5.79 mSv, respectively) compared to the post-transplant group (2.9 and 0.52 mSv, respectively) (P < 0.001).


ESKD patients are at risk of cumulative exposure to significant levels of diagnostic radiation. The majority of this exposure is imparted as a result of CT examinations to patients in the HD group.


Radiation Computed tomography End stage renal disease Hemodialysis Cumulative effective dose 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joe Coyle
    • 1
  • Sinead Kinsella
    • 2
  • Siobhain McCarthy
    • 1
  • Sebastian MacWilliams
    • 1
  • Patrick McLaughlin
    • 1
  • Joseph Eustace
    • 2
  • Michael M. Maher
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiology DepartmentCork University HospitalCorkIreland
  2. 2.Nephrology DepartmentCork University HospitalCorkIreland

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