Irradiation of the human body in diagnostic X-ray procedures results in different absorbed doses in the various body organs. A somatic dose index is formulated by applying the relative sensitivity of the human to each of the most important somatic effects and utilizing the absorbed dose in the affected organs. This quantity is used to convey a cumulative somatic impact and is computed for common radiographic views in diagnostic radiology as a function of beam quality for a nominal 1R entrance exposure. Using typical X-ray beam qualities and exposures, the frequency of the various radiographic views that make up an examination and the frequency of the various examinations in the national population, illustrative examples of the application of the somatic dose index are presented.
©1978Health Physics Society