Radiation exposure to personnel during CT procedures
Sammanfattning: During X-ray examinations a large part of the radiation is scattered from the patient, contributing to larger radiation doses to medical staff operating inside the examination room. Ionizing radiation contributes to the risk of developing cancer and hereditary diseases but also to the risk of developing cataract. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the radiation environment and construct three-dimensional maps of the dose distribution, in a Computed Tomography (CT) room during examinations. Air kerma was measured with real time dosimeters while irradiating an anthropomorphic phantom, using the X-ray tube voltages 100, 120 and 140 kV. The effective dose received by protected and unprotected medical staff inside the CT room during radiation exposure was estimated by using spectra from scattered X-ray radiation, a simulation of X-ray spectra and the dose evaluation program PCXMC. The equivalent dose to the eye lens was estimated by using spectra from scattered X-ray radiation and tabulated conversion factors from air kerma to the personal dose equivalent at 0.07 mm depth, Hp(0.07). From the estimated values of the effective dose and equivalent eye lens dose received by medical staff inside the room, three-dimensional dose distribution maps were constructed. The shielding effectiveness of a lead apron regularly used in the room was examined using tube voltages of 100, 120 and 140 kV. The radiation dose distributions have a maximum closest to the irradiated phantom for most heights except at eye level where the maximum is shifted outwards along the patient table due to strong shielding by the gantry at eye level. The strong shielding of the gantry is noticed for all energy levels and at all heights but is exceptionally noticeable at eye level. The shielding of the patient table is strongest for the lower heights but is also noticeable at eye level which may seem surprising since there were no objects between the phantom and that point. The dose distribution along directions with minimal shielding seems to follow the inverse square law well. The lead apron is effective but its efficiency decreases for higher photon energies which is expected. From information about the frequency and durations of CT-guided procedures, the estimated annual effective dose is 1.6-2.3 mSv for protected and 14.3-19.8 mSv for unprotected personnel at the operator position. The estimated annual equivalent eye lens dose is 4.7-7.8 mSv at the operator position. All annual doses at the operator position are below the annual threshold values of 20 mSv set by the ICRP.
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