Introduction: The main purpose of this study was to investigate patient dose in pelvic and abdomen x-ray examinations. This work also provided the LDRLs (local diagnostic reference levels) in Khuzestan region, southwest of Iran to help establish the NDRLs (national diagnostic reference levels).
Methods: Patient doses were assessed from patient’s anatomical data and exposure parameters based on the IAEA indirect dosimetry method. With regard to this method, exposure parameters such as tube output, kVp, mAs, FFD and patient anatomical data were used for calculating ESD (entrance skin dose) of patients. This study was conducted on 250 standard patients (50% men and 50% women) at eight high-patient-load imaging centers.
Results: The results indicate that mean ESDs for the both pelvic and abdomen examinations were lower than the IAEA and EC reference levels, 2.3 and 3.7 mGy, respectively. Mean applied kVps were 67 and 70 and mean FFDs were 103 and 109, respectively. Tube loadings obtained in this study for pelvic examination were lower than all the corresponding values in the reviewed literature. Likewise, the average annual patient load across all hospitals were more than 37000 patients, i.e. more than 100 patients a day.
Conclusions: The authors recommend that DRLs (diagnostic reference levels) obtained in this region, which are the first available data, can be used as local DRLs for pelvic and abdomen procedures. This work also provides that on-the-job training programs for staffs and close cross collaboration between physicists and physicians should be strongly considered.