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Following the Fukushima accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) convened a task group to compile lessons learned from the nuclear reactor accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, with respect to the ICRP system of radiological protection. In this memorandum the members of the task group express their personal views on issues arising during and after the accident, without explicit endorsement of or approval by the ICRP. While the affected people were largely protected against radiation exposure and no one incurred a lethal dose of radiation (or a dose sufficiently large to cause radiation sickness), many radiological protection questions were raised. The following issues were identified: inferring radiation risks (and the misunderstanding of nominal risk coefficients); attributing radiation effects from low dose exposures; quantifying radiation exposure; assessing the importance of internal exposures; managing emergency crises; protecting rescuers and volunteers; responding with medical aid; justifying necessary but disruptive protective actions; transiting from an emergency to an existing situation; rehabilitating evacuated areas; restricting individual doses of members of the public; caring for infants and children; categorising public exposures due to an accident; considering pregnant women and their foetuses and embryos; monitoring public protection; dealing with 'contamination' of territories, rubble and residues and consumer products; recognising the importance of psychological consequences; and fostering the sharing of information. Relevant ICRP Recommendations were scrutinised, lessons were collected and suggestions were compiled. It was concluded that the radiological protection community has an ethical duty to learn from the lessons of Fukushima and resolve any identified challenges. Before another large accident occurs, it should be ensured that inter alia: radiation risk coefficients of potential health effects are properly interpreted; the limitations of epidemiological studies for attributing radiation effects following low exposures are understood; any confusion on protection quantities and units is resolved; the potential hazard from the intake of radionuclides into the body is elucidated; rescuers and volunteers are protected with an ad hoc system; clear recommendations on crisis management and medical care and on recovery and rehabilitation are available; recommendations on public protection levels (including infant, children and pregnant women and their expected offspring) and associated issues are consistent and understandable; updated recommendations on public monitoring policy are available; acceptable (or tolerable) 'contamination' levels are clearly stated and defined; strategies for mitigating the serious psychological consequences arising from radiological accidents are sought; and, last but not least, failures in fostering information sharing on radiological protection policy after an accident need to be addressed with recommendations to minimise such lapses in communication.
PURPOSE - Effective and organ specific doses of ionizing radiation during videourodynamics are unknown. We estimated radiation exposure in children undergoing videourodynamics, and identified patient and examination factors that contribute to higher dosing.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Fluoroscopy data were collected from consecutive patients undergoing videourodynamics. Documented dose metrics were used to calculate entrance skin dose after applying a series of correction factors. Effective doses and organ specific doses (ovaries/testes) were estimated from entrance skin dose using Monte Carlo methods on a mathematical anthropomorphic phantom (ages 0, 1, 5, 10 and 15 years). Regression analysis was performed to determine patient and procedural factors associated with higher dosing.
RESULTS - A total of 100 children (45% male, mean ± SD age 9.3 ± 5.7 years) were studied. Diagnoses included neurogenic bladder (73%), anatomical abnormality (14%) and functional/nonneurogenic disorder (13%). Mean fluoroscopy time was 0.17 ± 0.12 minutes. Mean age adjusted entrance skin dose, effective dose, and testis and ovary doses were 2.18 ± 2.00 mGy, 0.07 ± 0.05 mSv, 0.09 ± 0.10 mGy and 0.20 ± 0.13 mGy, respectively. On univariate analysis age, height, weight, body mass index, bladder capacity and fluoroscopy time were associated with effective dose. On multivariate adjusted analysis, body mass index, bladder capacity and fluoroscopy time were independently associated with effective dose.
CONCLUSIONS - The average effective dose of ionizing radiation from videourodynamics was less compared to voiding cystourethrogram dose reported in the literature. Greater fluoroscopy time, body mass index and bladder capacity are independently associated with higher dosing.
Copyright © 2013 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Women with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/BRCA2) mutations are at very high risk of developing breast cancer, including asynchronous contralateral breast cancer (CBC). BRCA1/BRCA2 genes help maintain genome stability and assist in DNA repair. We examined whether the risk of CBC associated with radiation treatment was higher among women with germline BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations than among non-carriers.
METHODS - A population-based, nested case-control study was conducted within a cohort of 52,536 survivors of unilateral breast cancer (UBC). Cases were 603 women with CBC and controls were 1199 women with UBC individually matched on age at diagnosis, race, year of first diagnosis and cancer registry. All women were tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Radiation absorbed dose from the initial radiotherapy (RT) to the CBC location within the contralateral breast was reconstructed from measurements in a tissue-equivalent phantom and details available in the therapy records.
FINDINGS - Among women treated with radiation, the mean radiation dose was 1.1 Gy (range = 0.02-6.2 Gy). Risk of developing CBC was elevated among women who carried a deleterious BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation (rate ratio, RR = 4.5, confidence interval, CI = 3.0-6.8), and also among those treated with RT (RR = 1.2, CI = 1.0-1.6). However, among mutation carriers, an incremental increase in risk associated with radiation dose was not statistically significant.
INTERPRETATION - Multiplicative interaction of RT with mutation status would be reflected by a larger association of RT with CBC among carriers than among non-carriers, but this was not apparent. Accordingly, there was no clear indication that carriers of deleterious BRCA/BRCA2 mutations were more susceptible to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than non-carriers. These findings are reassuring and have important clinical implications for treatment decisions and the clinical management of patients harbouring deleterious BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations.
FUNDING - All work associated with this study was supported by the U.S. National Cancer Institute [R01CA097397, U01CA083178].
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To assess site-specific cancer risk in the Baltic cohort of Chernobyl cleanup workers, 1986-2007.
METHODS - The Baltic cohort includes 17,040 men from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who participated in the environmental cleanup after the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in 1986-1991 and who were followed up for cancer incidence until the end of 2007. Cancer cases diagnosed in the cohort and in the male population of each country were identified from the respective national cancer registers. The proportional incidence ratio (PIR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to estimate the site-specific cancer risk in the cohort. For comparison and as it was possible, the site-specific standardised incidence ratio (SIR) was calculated for the Estonian sub-cohort, which was not feasible for the other countries.
RESULTS - Overall, 756 cancer cases were reported during 1986-2007. A higher proportion of thyroid cancers in relation to the male population was found (PIR=2.76; 95%CI 1.63-4.36), especially among those who started their mission shortly after the accident, in April-May 1986 (PIR=6.38; 95%CI 2.34-13.89). Also, an excess of oesophageal cancers was noted (PIR=1.52; 95% CI 1.06-2.11). No increased PIRs for leukaemia or radiation-related cancer sites combined were observed. PIRs and SIRs for the Estonian sub-cohort demonstrated the same site-specific cancer risk pattern.
CONCLUSION - Consistent evidence of an increase in radiation-related cancers in the Baltic cohort was not observed with the possible exception of thyroid cancer, where conclusions are hampered by known medical examination including thyroid screening among cleanup workers.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Radiation exposure to the thorax is associated with substantial risk for the subsequent development of cardiovascular disease. Thus, the increasing role of radiation therapy in the contemporary treatment of cancer, combined with improving survival rates of patients undergoing this therapy, contributes to a growing population at risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Associated cardiovascular injuries include pericardial disease, coronary artery disease, valvular disease, conduction disease, cardiomyopathy, and medium and large vessel vasculopathy-any of which can occur at varying intervals following irradiation. Higher radiation doses, younger age at the time of irradiation, longer intervals from the time of radiation, and coexisting cardiovascular risk factors all predispose to these injuries. The true incidence of radiation-related cardiovascular disease remains uncertain due to lack of large multicentre studies with a sufficient duration of cardiovascular follow-up. There are currently no consensus guidelines available to inform the optimal approach to cardiovascular surveillance of recipients of thoracic radiation. Therefore, we review the cardiovascular consequences of radiation therapy and focus on the potential role of non-invasive cardiovascular imaging in the assessment and management of radiation-related cardiovascular disease. In doing so, we highlight characteristics that can be used to identify individuals at risk for developing post-radiation cardiovascular disease and propose an imaging-based algorithm for their clinical surveillance.
Sunlight may be related to cognitive function through vitamin D metabolism or circadian rhythm regulation. The analysis presented here sought to test whether ground and satellite measures of solar radiation are associated with cognitive decline. The study used a 15-year residential history merged with satellite and ground monitor data to determine sunlight (solar radiation) and air temperature exposure for a cohort of 19,896 cognitively intact black and white participants aged 45+ from the 48 contiguous United States. Exposures of 15, 10, 5, 2, and 1-year were used to predict cognitive status at the most recent assessment in logistic regression models; 1-year insolation and maximum temperatures were chosen as exposure measures. Solar radiation interacted with temperature, age, and gender in its relationships with incident cognitive impairment. After adjustment for covariates, the odds ratio (OR) of cognitive decline for solar radiation exposure below the median vs above the median in the 3rd tertile of maximum temperatures was 1.88 (95 % CI: 1.24, 2.85), that in the 2nd tertile was 1.33 (95 % CI: 1.09, 1.62), and that in the 1st tertile was 1.22 (95 % CI: 0.92, 1.60). We also found that participants under 60 years old had an OR = 1.63 (95 % CI: 1.20, 2.22), those 60-80 years old had an OR = 1.18 (95 % CI: 1.02, 1.36), and those over 80 years old had an OR = 1.05 (0.80, 1.37). Lastly, we found that males had an OR = 1.43 (95 % CI: 1.22, 1.69), and females had an OR = 1.02 (0.87, 1.20). We found that lower levels of solar radiation were associated with increased odds of incident cognitive impairment.
This document outlines the usefulness of available diagnostic imaging for patients without known coronary artery disease and at low probability for having coronary artery disease who do not present with classic signs, symptoms, or electrocardiographic abnormalities indicating acute coronary syndrome but rather with nonspecific chest pain leading to a differential diagnosis, including pulmonary, gastrointestinal, or musculoskeletal pathologies. A number of imaging modalities are available to evaluate the broad spectrum of possible pathologies in these patients, such as chest radiography, multidetector CT, MRI, ventilation-perfusion scans, cardiac perfusion scintigraphy, transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, PET, spine and rib radiography, barium esophageal and upper gastrointestinal studies, and abdominal ultrasound. It is considered appropriate to start the assessment of these patients with a low-cost, low-risk diagnostic test such as a chest x-ray. Contrast-enhanced gated cardiac and ungated thoracic multidetector CT as well as transthoracic echocardiography are also usually considered as appropriate in the evaluation of these patients as a second step if necessary. A number of rest and stress single-photon emission CT myocardial perfusion imaging, ventilation-perfusion scanning, aortic and chest MR angiographic, and more specific x-ray and abdominal examinations may be appropriate as a third layer of testing, whereas MRI of the heart or coronary arteries and invasive testing such as transesophageal echocardiography or selective coronary angiography are not considered appropriate in these patients. Given the low risk of these patients, it is mandated to minimize radiation exposure as much as possible using advanced and appropriate testing protocols. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria® are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every 2 years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In those instances in which evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lung cancer screening computed tomographies (CTs) differ from traditional chest CT scans in that they are performed at very low radiation doses, which allow the detection of small nodules but which have a much higher noise content than would be acceptable in a diagnostic chest CT. The technical parameters require a great deal of attention on the part of the user, because inappropriate settings could result in either excess radiation dose to the large population of screened individuals or in low-quality images with impaired nodule detectability. Both situations undermine the main goal of the screening program, which is to detect lung nodules using as low a radiation dose as can reasonably be achieved. Once an image has been obtained, there are unique interpretive issues that must be addressed mainly because of the very high noise content of the images and the high prevalence of incidental findings in the chest unrelated to the sought-after pulmonary nodules.
PURPOSE - To estimate the possible radiation dose to other individuals from patients treated with yttrium-90 ((90)Y).
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Dosimetry data were analyzed after 143 consecutive administrations of (90)Y (124 resin, 19 glass) in 86 patients. External radiation exposure levels from patients were measured immediately after infusion. Total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to maximally exposed individuals was calculated based on total body residence time and measured dose rate. These values were compared to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations (maximum, 1 mSv) and other potential guidelines for caregivers, extensive caregivers, or pregnant contacts.
RESULTS - Mean administered activity for resin microspheres was 0.71 GBq ± 0.35 (range, 0.07-1.6GBq). Mean TEDE dose to the maximally exposed contact was 0.03 mSv (range, 0.0005-0.16 mSv). For glass microspheres, mean administered activity was 2.8 GBq ± 1.5 (range, 0.37-5.14 GBq). Mean TEDE dose to the maximally exposed contact was 0.06 mSv (range, 0.0023-0.23 mSv). All (90)Y treatments were within current NRC regulations for release without instructions. One, three, and one infusion were beyond potential thresholds for caregivers, extensive caregivers, or pregnant contacts, respectively. For any contact scenario, release without instruction was appropriate when administered activity was less than 3 GBq.
CONCLUSIONS - All patients treated with (90)Y hepatic radioembolization to a maximum administered activity of 5.14 GBq and maximum dose rate of 10 uSv/h were releasable without contact restrictions according to the NRC contact scenario. Patients who receive more than 3 GBq during infusion may require dose rate measurement if more restrictive contact scenarios are considered.
Copyright © 2012 SIR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The relationship between chest lateral width, tube current, image noise, and radiation exposure on 320-detector row CT has not been reported.
OBJECTIVE - We investigated the relationships between chest lateral width, estimated radiation exposure (DLPe), and image noise in 300 patients undergoing clinical coronary calcium scanning.
METHODS - Patients undergoing coronary calcium scanning with 320-detector row CT (prospective, volumetric mode, 120 kV of tube voltage, 100-550 mA of tube current, 0.5-mm detector width) were grouped by chest lateral width (small, medium, and large) from anteroposterior topograms and 100 consecutive patients were selected from each group (n = 300). Tube current, DLPe, and noise were compared among groups with Kruskal-Wallis or one-way ANOVA. Phantom experiments were performed to evaluate the accuracy of calcium quantification as a function of size and tube current.
RESULTS - Median tube current in small, medium, and large patients was 130, 200, and 250 mA, respectively (P < 0.0001). Despite the use of higher tube current settings, noise levels also increased with size (20.2 ± 4.5 HU, 22.0 ± 3.9 HU, and 25.1 ± 4.9 HU, respectively; global P < 0.001). DLPe was significantly higher with increasing size (54, 83, and 104 mGy · cm, respectively; P < 0.0001). Phantom experiments showed that 50-100 mA, 150-200 mA, and approximately 300 mA in small, medium, and large phantoms were associated with stable estimate of calcium.
CONCLUSIONS - Increasing chest lateral width is associated with increasing radiation exposure and image noise. The use of 50-100 mA in small and 150-200 mA in medium patients is associated with acceptable noise and stable estimate of coronary artery calcium. In large patients, precise identification of individual calcified lesions remains difficult despite increasing tube current and radiation exposure.
Copyright © 2011 Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.