The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency and type of X ray examinations performed on neonates classified according to their birth weight in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In this study, the radiology records of 2408 neonates who were admitted to the NICU of Oita Prefectural Hospital between January 1994 and September 1999 were investigated. This study revealed that the neonates with earlier gestational ages and lower birth weights required longer NICU stays and more frequent X ray examinations made using a mobile X ray unit. The average number of X ray examinations performed on neonates of less than 750 g birth weight was 26 films per neonate. In regard to computed tomography and fluoroscopy, no significant relationship was found between the birth weight and number of X rays. This study revealed that the entrance-surface dose per neonate was dependent upon the birth weight, while the maximum dose was not dependent upon the birth weight. The average neonatal dose in the NICU was predominantly from computed tomography and fluoroscopy. The individual dose varied widely among neonates.