A Survey of Patient Dose in Barium Enema Examination in a Hong Kong Public Hospital

SK Yu, CM Kung, YK Cheung, CF Ip, TL Chan, E Tsui

Hong Kong J Radiol 2001;4:146-9

Objectives: To determine the total dose-area product values for barium enema examinations; to determine the major dose contributor and to propose methods for reduction of patient dose without affecting the diagnostic values of the examination; and to compare the results with dose reference levels reported in the literature.

Materials and Methods: Radiation dose was measured in 33 patients involved in a pilot study. Radiography was found to be the major contributor to the patient dose during an average of 6.8 ± 2.4 radiographs per patient. In order to reduce patient dose, the screen-film combination was replaced with a faster and higher contrast combination. A survey of 422 barium enema examinations was then performed to evaluate the effect on dose reduction.

Results: Using the fast screen-film combination, the average radiographic dose-area product was significantly reduced (p<0.001). The observed mean dose-area product was 1711 ± 1360 cGycm2 and the estimated effective dose was 4.96 ± 3.94 mSv.

Conclusions: The dose-area product value obtained with the fast screen-film combination is comparable to values reported by other researchers and complies with the dose reference levels proposed from relevant surveys in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.