IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



Population exposure to ionising radiation from medical examinations in France

Journal title : British Journal of Radiology
Volume : 81
issue : 963
Pagination : 204-213
Publication date : 01/03/2008

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/DRPH/SER/UEM

Authors > AUBERT Bernard, DONADIEU Jean, PIRARD Philippe, SCANFF Pascale

Publication Date > 01/03/2008


This study was carried out to update data concerning both the nature and frequency of X-ray diagnostic procedures and to reassess the associated per caput effective dose in France, given that the only nationwide survey was carried out over fifteen years ago. Relevant data concerning examinations in conventional radiology, computed tomography, interventional radiology and nuclear medicine were obtained for the year 2002 from two main sources, the main health insurance records for private practices and the statistics of healthcare establishments on hospital activity. Doses associated with different types of examination were obtained from the diagnostic reference levels (DRL) campaign, together with data from the European Commission and from the Health Protection Agency in the UK. The results show that between 55.4 and 65.9 million procedures were performed in 2002 in conventional radiology (one third for dental) and between 4.2 and 6 million in computed tomography. There were 850,000 and 900,000 procedures in nuclear medicine and interventional radiology respectively. Conventional radiology accounts for 90% of the total number of procedures but only 37% of the collective dose, whereas examinations in computed tomography account for 8% of total examinations but 39% of the collective dose. Examinations in nuclear medicine and interventional radiology account for 2% of procedures but 7 and 17% of the collective dose respectively. Finally, the per caput effective dose in 2002 was between 0.66 and 0.83 mSv.


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