Patient dose measurements in diagnostic radiology procedures in Montenegro
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It was the aim of the study presented here to estimate for the first time patient dose levels in conventional diagnostic radiology in Montenegro. Measurements of patient dose in terms of entrance surface air kerma (ESAK) and kerma-area product (KAP) were performed on at least 10 patients for each examination type, in each of five randomly selected health institutions in Montenegro, so that a total of 872 patients for 16 different examination categories were included in the survey (817 patients for 1049 radiographies and 55 fluoroscopy patients). Exposure settings and individual data were recorded for each patient. Mean, median and third quartile values ESAK of patient doses are reported. The estimated mean ESAK values obtained are as follows: 4.7 mGy for pelvis anteroposterior (AP), 4.5 mGy for lumbar spine AP, 7.8 mGy for lumbar spine lateral (LAT), 3.1 mGy for thoracic spine AP and 4.3 mGy for thoracic spine LAT. When compared with the European diagnostic reference values, the mean E...SAK for all studied examination types are found to be below the reference levels, except in chest radiography. Mean ESAK values for chest radiography are 0.9 mGy for posteroanterior (PA) projection and 2.0 mGy for LAT. The results exhibit a wide range of variation. For fluoroscopy examinations, the total KAP was measured. The mean KAP value per procedure for barium meal is found to be 22 Gy cm(2), 41 Gy cm(2) for barium enema and 19 Gy cm(2) for intravenous urography. Broad dose ranges for the same types of examinations indicate the necessity of applying practice optimisation in diagnostic radiology and establishment of national diagnostic reference levels.