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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Mar;22(3):571-8. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2010070784. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Estimated radiation exposure from medical imaging in hemodialysis patients.

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  • 1Medical Physics Department, University Hospital Maggiore della Carità, Corso Mazzini 18, Novara, Italy.


Radiation exposure accompanying medical imaging associates with cancer risk. Patients with recurrent or chronic diseases may be especially at risk, because they may undergo more of these procedures. The aim of this study was to assess the individual cumulative effective doses (CEDs), which quantify radiation from medical imaging procedures, in a cohort of 106 hemodialysis patients during a median follow-up of 3 years. We retrospectively calculated individual radiation exposures by collecting the number and type of radiologic procedures from hospital records. We also estimated organ doses for computed tomography procedures. The mean and median annual CEDs were 21.9 and 11.7 mSv per patient-year, respectively. The mean and median total CEDs per patient during the study period were 57.7 and 27.3 mSv, respectively. By radiation dose group, we classified 22 patients as low (<3 mSv/yr), 51 as moderate (3 to <20 mSv/yr), 22 as high (20 to <50 mSv/yr), and 11 as very high (≥50 mSv/yr). Seventeen patients had a total CED >100 mSv, a value associated with a substantial increase in risk for cancer-related mortality. Of the total CED,s 76% was a result of CT scanning. The annual CED significantly associated with age and transplant waitlist status. In summary, this study shows that a significant fraction of surviving hemodialysis patients during a 3-year period receives estimated radiation doses that may put them at an increased risk for cancer.

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