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Radiol Technol. 2016 Nov;88(2):127-134.

Gonadal Shielding in Radiography: A Best Practice?

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To investigate radiation dose to phantom testes with and without shielding.


A male anthropomorphic pelvis phantom was imaged with thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) placed in the right and left detector holes corresponding to the testes. Ten exposures were made of the pelvis with and without shielding. The exposed TLDs were packaged securely and mailed to the University of Wisconsin Calibration Laboratory for reading and analysis.


A t test was calculated for the 2 exposure groups (no shield and shielded) and found to be significant, F = 8.306, P < .006. A 36.4% increase in exposure to the testes was calculated when no contact shield was used during pelvic imaging.


Using a flat contact shield during imaging of the adult male pelvis significantly reduces radiation dose to the testes.


Regardless of the contradictions in the literature on gonadal shielding, the routine practice of shielding adult male gonads during radiographic imaging of the pelvis is a best practice.


best practice; gonadal shielding; pelvic imaging; radiation dose

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