Medical dosimetry

Introduction

The use of ionizing radiation has allowed great progress in many areas of medicine. It is therefore essential that practices involving medical exposure are carried out in optimized radiation protection conditions.

Taking into account the increasing number and complexity of medical applications and the fast development of new techniques and equipment, there is a risk for an increasing radiation exposure for patients and medical staff. For the protection of medical staff, dose limits are introduced, which cannot be exceeded on a yearly basis.

No dose limits may be applied on the exposure of patients, but European member States must promote the establishment and use of diagnostic reference levels for diagnostic examination.

Main activities

Research on measurement and simulation techniques

  • The improvement of techniques for an accurate dose assessment using thermoluminescent (TL) and optical stimulated luminescent (OSL) dosemeters
  • Application of Monte Carlo simulation techniques and voxelised phantoms

Research on the optimization of patient doses for:

  • High-dose procedures, like fluoroscopically-guided procedures
  • Pediatric and (neo)natal patients
  • Screening populations (mammography)
  • Modern radiotherapy treatment: the assessment of doses to the peripheral organs and on-line tumor dosimetry
  • Hadron therapy 

Research on radiation protection for medical staff

  • Extremity and eye lens dosimetry for fluoroscopically-guided procedures and nuclear medicine
  • The evaluation of active dosemeters for medical applications
  • The practice of double dosimetry 

Applications

There is a strong collaboration between the RDC group and many hospitals in Belgium for the performance of the research in the field of medical dosimetry. The results obtained are of interest for medical staff, radiation protection experts, occupational physicians and authorities in the field.

Effective collaboration exists with European research projects, like the MELODI platform and dosimetry associations, like EURADOS.

Projects

  • ORAMED (2008-2011): 'Optimisation of Radiation Protection of Medical Staff'. The European project focussed on improving the knowledge on extremity and eye lens exposures, combined with an optimisation in the use of active personal dosemeters.
    More info: www.oramed-fp7.eu
    Financed by the EC
  • PreDos (2011)
    Evaluation of the doses delivered to premature babies in the Belgian neonatal intensive care units. Financed by the FANC
  • EPI-CT (2011-2016)
    Epidemiological study to quantify risks for paediatric computerized tomography and to optimize doses. More info: http://epi-ct.iarc.fr
    Financed by the EC
  • ELDO (2012-2013) and BELCOLORE project (2013-…)
    European epidemiological study of radiation induced cataracts in interventional cardiologists.
    ELDO financed by the DoReMi network
  • PhD projects
    • Proposition and large scale verification of optimized dose settings for 2D and 3D mammography. Elena Salvagnini (KUL) 2010-2014
    • Online dosimetry for radiotherapy using non-invasive optical fibre sensors with Al2O3:C OSL detectors. Luana de Freitas Nascimento (Ugent) 2010-2014
    • Microdosimetric characterisation of a therapeutic charged particles beam. Sabina Chiriotti Alvarez (UCL) 2011-2015
    • Investigation of nanomaterials for dosimetry. Natalia Ilyina (KUL) 2012-2016

Contact

Lara Struelens, Filip Vanhavere

dosimetry@sckcen.be


Paediatric ATOM phantom (CIRS) in CT scanner

Rando Alderson phantom with bi-plane x-ray system