Radiation exposure of imaging studies

Radiation exposure of imaging studies

What is the radiation exposure to an individual undergoing imaging studies?

The conversion for radiation units is as follows:

  • • 1 Sievert (Sv) = 1 Gray (Gy) = 100 Rem = 100 Rad

The average background radiation exposure a person is exposed to is:

  • • Natural background = 3.1 mSv/year
  • • Flight from New York to Los Angeles = 0.030 mSv

The average ionizing radiation exposure for radiologic procedures is:

 Mammography—0.5 mSv• Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)—0.001 mSv
• Chest x-ray—0.02 mSv• Head CT scan—2 mSv
• Lumbar spine x-ray—1.25 mSv• Ultrasound—0
• Bone scan—6.3 mSv• MRI—0 (although heating of tissue and other effects may occur)
• Upper gastrointestinal series—6 mSv
• Barium enema—8 mSv (with fluoroscopy)

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