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Computed Tomography Radiation Exposure Among Referred Kidney Stone Patients: Results from the Registry for Stones of the Kidney and Ureter.


Purpose: Kidney stone patients routinely have CT scans during diagnostic work-up before being referred to a tertiary center. How often these patients exceed the recommended dose limits for occupational radiation exposure of >100 mSv for 5 years and >50 mSv in a single year from CT alone remains unknown. This study aimed to quantify radiation doses from CTs received by stone patients before their evaluation at a tertiary care stone clinic. Methods: From November 2015 to March 2017, consecutive new patients enrolled into the Registry for Stones of the Kidney and Ureter (ReSKU™) had the dose-length product of every available CT abdomen/pelvis within 5 years of their initial visit recorded, allowing for an effective dose (EDose) calculation. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified factors associated with exceeding recommended dose limits. Models were created to test radiation reducing effects of low-dose and phase-reduction CT protocols. Results: Of 343 noncontrast CTs performed, only 29 (8%) were low-dose CTs (calculated EDose <4 mSv). Among 389 total patients, 101 (26%) and 25 (6%) had an EDose >20 mSv and >50 mSv/year, respectively. Increased body mass index, number of scans, and multiphase scans were associated with exceeding exposure thresholds (p < 0.01). The implementation of a low-dose CT protocol decreased the estimated number of scans contributing to overexposure by >50%. Conclusions: Stone patients referred to a tertiary stone center may receive excessive radiation from CT scans alone. Unnecessary phases and underutilization of low-dose CT protocols continue to take place. Enacting new approaches to CT protocols may spare stone patients from exceeding recommended dose limits.

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