Radiation risks: what is to be done?

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Jan;204(1):124-7. doi: 10.2214/AJR.14.12834.


Objective: What is currently known about radiologic risks is reviewed, policies that should be adopted based on our current knowledge are proposed, and how these policies can be applied to adequately protect patients in everyday clinical practice is described.

Conclusion: All activities in life (e.g., driving automobiles) are associated with risks, and medical imaging is no different, so the most important message to convey to patients is whether a proposed examination is worthwhile. Our collective goal should be ensuring that all radiologic examinations are justified and are as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA), which maximizes the benefits of medical imaging for our patients.

Keywords: ALARA; benefits; justification; policy; radiation risks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Patient Safety / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Injuries / epidemiology
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiation Protection / standards*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*