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Radiol Technol. 2010 May-Jun;81(5):428-36.

Computed tomography shielding methods: a literature review.

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UNC Health Care, USA.



To investigate available shielding methods in an effort to further awareness and understanding of existing preventive measures related to patient exposure in computed tomography (CT) scanning.


Searches were conducted to locate literature discussing the effectiveness of commercially available shields. Literature containing information regarding breast, gonad, eye and thyroid shielding was identified. Because of rapidly advancing technology, the selection of articles was limited to those published within the past 5 years. The selected studies were examined using the following topics as guidelines: the effectiveness of the shield (percentage of dose reduction), the shield's effect on image quality, arguments for or against its use (including practicality) and overall recommendation for its use in clinical practice.


Only a limited number of studies have been performed on the use of shields for the eyes, thyroid and gonads, but the evidence shows an overall benefit to their use. Breast shielding has been the most studied shielding method, with consistent agreement throughout the literature on its effectiveness at reducing radiation dose. The effect of shielding on image quality was not remarkable in a majority of studies. Although it is noted that more studies need to be conducted regarding the impact on image quality, the currently published literature stresses the importance of shielding in reducing dose.


Commercially available shields for the breast, thyroid, eyes and gonads should be implemented in clinical practice. Further research is needed to ascertain the prevalence of shielding in the clinical setting.

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