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Radiation Exposure During Scoliosis Screening Radiography

NOTTAGE, WESLEY M., MD; WAUGH, THEODORE R., MD; McMASTER, WILLIAM C., MD

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Screening programs to detect scoliosis in the adolescent population are active in most communities. Two percent of children screened will be referred for treatment or observation. Increasing concern has been voiced regarding the amount of the potential effects of the radiation administered in such screening programs. Radiation dosage was directly measured on 19 children participating in an established school scoliosis screening program, using lithium fluoride thermoluminescence dosimeters. The mean gonadal doses are measured to be 19 mrem in males and estimated at a maximum 95 mrem in females. The mean entrance skin dose was 174 mrem. A lack of uniformity in the radiographic techniques employed by individual technician was identified. The measured doses were within established acceptable limits and are comparable or below the average dose of 100 mrem received annually by the general public from the environment.

From the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Irvine, California

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.