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Osteoporos Int. 1994 Jan;4(1):11-5.

Patient dose in dual x-ray absorptiometry.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.


Dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) provides a convenient, non-invasive method of assessing skeletal bone mineral which is widely used for clinical studies. This report describes a study to estimate the effective dose of radiation (ICRP-60 (1990)) to a typical female patient from scans performed on three DXA scanners: the Hologic QDR-1000, QDR-1000/W and QDR-2000. The scans modes studied were: total body; anteroposterior (AP) lumbar spine; lateral lumbar spine; proximal femur; distal forearm. An ionization chamber and tissue-equivalent phantom were used to determine entrance surface dose and percentage depth-dose curves for each scan mode. Anatomical data from ICRP-23 (Reference Man) and a body section atlas were used to estimate the absorbed dose to each organ in the scan fields. Effective dose was estimated using the ICRP-60 tissue weighting factors and the fraction of each organ in the scan field. Results are summarized below. Figures for the effective dose are given both excluding and (in brackets) including the ovaries to cover the cases of postmenopausal and premenopausal women respectively.

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