Diagnostic radiographic examinations in Saudi Arabia based on thermoluminescent dosimetery
This study was performed as part of a comprehensive project to establish national diagnostic reference levels (NDRLs), for the first time, in Saudi Arabia. The study consisted of 240 patients who were referred for x-ray examinations at King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) in Saudi Arabia. Patients’ information and exposure parameters for eight of the common x-ray examinations (12 standard projections) were evaluated. The patient mean dose values recorded at KKUH were compared with the corresponding values at other national institutions (Security Forces Hospital and King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology). The patient exposure parameters of several radiographic projections [chest (posterior anterior), skull (anterior posterior/posterior anterior and lateral), cervical spine (anterior posterior and lateral) and lumbar spine (anterior posterior and lateral)] measured at KKUH were compared with their corresponding values at the International Hospitals (Iran, United Kingdom and Malaysia). We found that the patient mean dose values recorded at KKUH varied widely from those recorded at the other national institutions. In addition, the patient exposure parameters recorded at KKUH varied from those measured at the international hospitals. Variations in patient dose arising from a specific X-ray examination may emerge from complex causes, but in general, low peak kilovolt and high milli Amperes were associated with the higher doses. The results of this study will prove useful information for the formulation of NDRLs and also provide local diagnostic reference levels for several diagnostic x-ray examinations at KKUH, other national institutions and international hospitals.
Key words: Harshaw 3500 reader, national hospitals, radiographic examinations, thermoluminescent dosimeters, x-rays.