Maintenance hemodialysis patients have high cumulative radiation exposure

Kidney Int. 2010 Oct;78(8):789-93. doi: 10.1038/ki.2010.196. Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Abstract

Hemodialysis is associated with an increased risk of neoplasms which may result, at least in part, from exposure to ionizing radiation associated with frequent radiographic procedures. In order to estimate the average radiation exposure of those on hemodialysis, we conducted a retrospective study of 100 patients in a university-based dialysis unit followed for a median of 3.4 years. The number and type of radiological procedures were obtained from a central radiology database, and the cumulative effective radiation dose was calculated using standardized, procedure-specific radiation levels. The median annual radiation dose was 6.9 millisieverts (mSv) per patient-year. However, 14 patients had an annual cumulative effective radiation dose over 20 mSv, the upper averaged annual limit for occupational exposure. The median total cumulative effective radiation dose per patient over the study period was 21.7 mSv, in which 13 patients had a total cumulative effective radiation dose over 75 mSv, a value reported to be associated with a 7% increased risk of cancer-related mortality. Two-thirds of the total cumulative effective radiation dose was due to CT scanning. The average radiation exposure was significantly associated with the cause of end-stage renal disease, history of ischemic heart disease, transplant waitlist status, number of in-patient hospital days over follow-up, and death during the study period. These results highlight the substantial exposure to ionizing radiation in hemodialysis patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation, Ionizing*
  • Radiography / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome