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June 1962

Radiation Exposure in Children: Diagnostic Studies for Congenital Heart Disease

Author Affiliations

Madison S. Spach, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.; Departments of Pediatrics and Radiology, Duke University School of Medicine; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Dr. Spach); Resident, Department of Radiology (Dr. Capp).

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(6):750-758. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020767003

During the past few years increased attention has been directed to the dangers of ionizing radiation in pediatric practice, not only to the child alone but to future generations. Contrasted with this danger is the increasing need for the use of ionizing radiation in one form or another for an accurate diagnosis of many diseases. The child with clinically significant congenital heart disease is especially likely to have extensive studies involving radiological techniques. Although technological advances, such as image intensification, help greatly in reducing radiation exposure, these children may be subjected to multiple chest x-rays, repeated fluoroscopies, prolonged exposures during cardiac catheterization, and as many as 25-60 films at one or more angiocardiographic examinations.

This study was conducted to determine and compare the radiation exposure involved in the various diagnostic procedures for congenital heart disease for the following reasons:

  1. There is a scarcity of reports concerning diagnostic radiation exposure

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