The additional dose to radiosensitive organs caused by using under-collimated X-ray beams in neonatal intensive care radiography

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2008;130(4):518-24. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncn090. Epub 2008 Mar 28.


Radiographic technique and exposure parameters were recorded in five Israeli Neonatal Intensive Care Units for chest, abdomen and both chest and abdomen X-ray examinations. Equivalent dose and effective dose values were calculated according to actual examination field size borders and proper technique field size recommendations using PCXMC, a PC-based Monte Carlo program. Exposure of larger than required body areas resulted in an increase of the organ doses by factors of up to 162 (testes), 162 (thyroid) and 8 (thyroid) for chest, abdomen and both chest and abdomen examinations, respectively. These exposures increased the average effective dose by factors of 2.0, 1.9 and 1.3 for the chest, abdomen and both chest and abdomen examinations, respectively. Differences in exposure parameters were found between the different neonatal intensive care units-tube voltage, current-time product and focal to skin distance differences up to 13, 44 and 22%, respectively. Reduction of at least 50% of neonate exposure is feasible and can be implemented using existing methodology without any additional costs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / standards*
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Photons
  • Radiation Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Radiation Monitoring / methods
  • Radiation Protection / instrumentation
  • Tissue Distribution
  • X-Rays