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Journal of Radiography & Radiation Sciences

2020;  (v 34): 1-37-41


Paediatric Diagnostic Reference levels in low Resource Settings: A Guide for developing Country Practitioners with excerpts from ICRP 135

Flavious Nkubli; Nzotta Chukwuemeka; Nwobi Chigozie; Joseph Dlama.

Copyright © 2017 The Association Of Radiographers Of Nigeria. All Rights Reserved.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Background: The practical implementation of Diagnostic Reference Level in pediatric imaging is a complex task due to their unique individuality in terms of high sensitivity to radiation, varying body sizes and presenting pathology. Hence, good knowledge of medical technology, skill to perform patient dosimetry and to analyze mage quality is required.

Purpose: To provide a guide on the methodological requirements for the establishment of Paediatric Diagnostic Reference Levels (PiDRLs) based on the revised and updated guidelines from the current ICRP publication 135 on Diagnostic Reference Levels (DRLs).

Materials and method: An extensive review of the ICRP report Publication 135 on Diagnostic Reference levels in medical imaging with a focus on paediatric imaging and other related studies were undertaken. 

Results: The ICRP report 135 updates and refines the recommendations of 2001. It highlights that the application of DRLs in paediatrics alone is not sufficient for the optimization of protection. Image quality must be evaluated. Quantities used for DRLs should be appropriate to the imaging modality being evaluated, assess the amount of ionizing radiation applied to perform a medical imaging task, and be measured directly. For interventional procedures, the complexity of the procedure may be considered in setting DRLs. DRLs shall not be used for individual patients or as trigger (alert or alarm) levels for individual patients. Appropriate weight bands (generally with 5 or 10 kg intervals) are recommended for establishing paediatric DRLs and should be promoted.

Conclusion: The amount of radiation used for examinations of children can vary tremendously due to the great variation in patient size and weight from neonates to adult-sized adolescents. This variation in patient radiation dose is appropriate. However, variation in patient doses due to inappropriate technique or failure to child-size the imaging protocol is not appropriate. This forms the basis of the new ICRP guideline and should form the basis of developing PiDRLs. 

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