How effective is effective dose as a predictor of radiation risk?

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Apr;194(4):890-6. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.4179.


Objective: This article discusses the relatively recent adoption of effective dose in medicine that allows comparison between different imaging techniques, and describes the principles, pitfalls, and potential value of effective dose. The medical community must use this information wisely, realizing that effective dose represents a generic estimate of risk from a given procedure for a generic model of the human body.

Conclusion: Effective dose is not the risk for any one individual. Due to the inherent uncertainties and oversimplifications involved, effective dose should not be used for epidemiologic studies or for estimating population risks.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiography*
  • Radiometry / methods
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness
  • Risk