Panorama das exposições médicas em radiologia convencional no Estado de São Paulo / Overview of the medical exposures in coventional radiology in the State of São Paulo
Marcelo Baptista de Freitas
DATA DE PUBLICAÇÃO
Patients dosimetry, associated with the assessment of the performance of the radiological equipment and of the series of procedures employed in the accomplishment of the examinations, plays fundamental role in the radiation protection system of medical exposures. Therefore, a large-scale survey of absorbed doses was carried out in health services localized in the state of São Paulo, including patients submitted to conventional radiological examinations. In this survey a postal dosimetric kit, originally developed, was employed. It allows the evaluation of the entrance surface dose (ESD) to patients with thermoluminescence dosimeters. Also a series visits to a sub-sample of services was carried out, giving rise to the in-loco evaluation of the performance of the medical x-ray equipment and of the image system, using procedures and equipments already established in protocols of quality control. The study is completed with the elaboration of a catalogue of x-ray spectra, which provides means to infer the spectra generated by medical x-ray equipments. Measurements of x-ray spectra were carried out with a cadmium zinc telluride detector (CdZnTe), and the stripping procedure was performed taking into account both the contributions of efficiency and x-ray escape fraction, experimentally determined in this work. The stratified sampling technique furnished important data on the distribution of equipments and the annual frequency of examinations performed in the state of São Paulo. From these results radiological examinations of the chest, skull and sinus, and spine were selected for the evaluation of ESD, as their annual frequencies are the highest observed: 100, 46 and 29 per thousand inhabitants, respectively. The number of x-ray examinations carried out annually in the cities of the state was employed as the stratification criterion to construct the sample. From a total of 200 health services sampled, 50 agreed to participate of the first stage, and 38 of the second. A total of 83 rooms (or x-ray equipments) and 868 patients was included, and a set of 1415 values of ESD was measured. Diagnostic reference levels were determined with the outcomes of the distribution of ESD. For adult patients, the reference levels achieved are very similar to others obtained in international surveys. However, as far as pediatric patients are concerned, the situation is very different: the values found in this survey are twice larger than the international recommendations to chest radiography of children. This points out that the practices need to be revised and that specific recommendations to this patient group, following specific surveys, should be provided. Also, a series of high ESD values due to unnecessary localizing radioscopy were detected among our data. The results of the equipment performance tests and of the evaluation of image quality suggest that it is possible to improve the conditions of the examinations and to reduce doses to patients, without impairment of the diagnostic information. Some of the experimentally determined x-ray spectra show a discrepancy, when compared to other catalogue spectra, in a particular energy range 25 to 40 keV. The practical application of them will require some corrections in the efficiency curve, but the established methodology and procedures remain legitimate. In an extensive approach, the results of this study supply a panorama of medical exposures in conventional radiology in the state of São Paulo, contributing with resources to future research in the field and also to governmental actions.
dosimetria termoluminescente espectroscopia de raio x thermoluminescent dosimetry radioproteção medical physics radiation protection radiologia física - física médica. radiology diagnostic x-ray spectroscopy
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