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Eur J Radiol. 2010 Oct;76(1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2010.08.025. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Systematic review on physician's knowledge about radiation doses and radiation risks of computed tomography.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.



The frequent use of computed tomography is a major cause of the increasing medical radiation exposure of the general population. Consequently, dose reduction and radiation protection is a topic of scientific and public concern.


We evaluated the available literature on physicians' knowledge regarding radiation dosages and risks due to computed tomography.


A systematic review in accordance with the Cochrane and PRISMA statements was performed using eight databases. 3091 references were found. Only primary studies assessing physicians' knowledge about computed tomography were included.


14 relevant articles were identified, all focussing on dose estimations for CT. Overall, the surveys showed moderate to low knowledge among physicians concerning radiation doses and the involved health risks. However, the surveys varied considerably in conduct and quality. For some countries, more than one survey was available. There was no general trend in knowledge in any country except a slight improvement of knowledge on health risks and radiation doses in two consecutive local German surveys.


Knowledge gaps concerning radiation doses and associated health risks among physicians are evident from published research. However, knowledge on radiation doses cannot be interpreted as reliable indicator for good medical practice.

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