Obese Patients Exposed to Higher Radiation Doses for X-Rays

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Obese Patients Exposed to Higher Radiation Doses for X-Rays
Obese Patients Exposed to Higher Radiation Doses for X-Rays

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with obesity undergoing projection radiography receive a higher dose area product (DAP) than normal-weight adults, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the Journal of Radiological Protection.

Saeed J.M. Alqahtani, from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed data for 630 patients from a bariatric clinic with a history of projection radiography. Data on patients' DAPs were collected for all projection radiography. The effective risk for patients with obesity was compared to that of normal-weight patients based on absorbed doses generated from a PC program for X-ray Monte Carlo simulation using DAP data from this study and the U.K. national diagnostic reference level (NDRL).

The researchers found that compared with the NDRL, patients with obesity received higher DAPs for all examinations included in the study. The highest DAPs were for abdominal and lumbar spine radiographs (17.6 and 30.31 Gy cm², respectively) compared with the NDRL (2.5 and 4 Gy cm², respectively). In abdomen and chest radiographs, there were moderate-to-low correlations between a patient's size and DAP. For patients with obesity, the projected radiation-related lifetime cancer risk is up to 153 percent higher compared with normal-weight adult patients, researchers found.

"As a researcher and a radiographer, I believe these radiation doses figures are only to be expected due to the lack of guidelines to aid imaging this group of patients," Alqahtani said in a statement. "As well as the doses of radiation given to the patient, many technical factors contribute to the image quality of an X-ray. We already started working on this issue in an attempt to produce prediction models that can aid radiographers to choose the best technical factors based on the patient's size."

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