Multi-national findings on radiation protection of children.
This article reviews issues of radiation protection in children in 52 low-resource countries. Extensive information was obtained through a survey by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); wide-ranging information was available from 40 countries and data from the other countries pertained to frequency of pediatric CT examinations. Of note is that multi-detector CT (MDCT) was available in 77% of responses to the survey, typically nodal centers in these countries. Nearly 75% of these scanners were reported to have dose displays. The pediatric CT usage was lower in European facilities as compared to Asian and African facilities, where usage was twice as high. The most frequently scanned body part was the head. Frequent use of 120 kVp was reported in children. The ratio of maximum to minimum CT dose index volume (CTDIvol) values varied between 15 for abdomen CT in the age group 5-10 years and 100 for chest CT in the age group <1 year. In 8% of the CT systems, CTDI values for pediatric patients were higher than those for adults in at least one age group and for one type of examination. Use of adult protocols for children was associated with CTDIw or CTDIvol values in children that were double those of adults for head and chest examination and 50% higher for abdomen examination. Patient dose records were kept in nearly half of the facilities, with the highest frequency in Europe (55% of participating facilities), and in 49% of Asian, 36% of Latin American and 14% of African facilities. The analysis of the first-choice examinations in seven clinical conditions showed that practice was in accordance with guidelines for only three of seven specified clinical conditions.
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