Journal Article

Cumulative radiation dose from medical imaging in kidney transplant patients

Andreana De Mauri, Marco Brambilla, Cristina Izzo, Roberta Matheoud, Doriana Chiarinotti, Alessandro Carriero, Piero Stratta and Martino De Leo

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 27, issue 9, pages 3645-3651
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Cumulative radiation dose from medical imaging in kidney transplant patients

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Although many patients undergoing kidney transplant are exposed to multiple examinations that increase cumulative effective doses (CEDs) of ionizing radiation, no data are available characterizing their total longitudinal radiation burden and relating radiation burden with risk factors for more exposure.


We did a retrospective cohort study of 92 patients (mean age 52 years; range: 20–75 years) who underwent kidney transplant at University Hospital, Novara, Italy, that evaluated all following medical imaging procedures involving ionizing radiation undergone beginning June 2007, and all subsequent procedures through August 2011, at the centre.


The mean and median annual CED were 17.2 and 4.9 millisieverts (mSv) per patient-year. The mean and median total CED per patient over the study period were 46.1 and 17.3 mSv, respectively. Twenty-eight and 12% of patients had total CED >50 and 100 mSv, values which are associated with a good or strong evidence of an increased cancer mortality risk, respectively. Computed tomography scanning accounted for 73% of the total CED. The annual CED was significantly higher in incident patients and in patients with ischaemic heart disease and cancer.


In this institution, multiple testing of kidney transplant patients was common in many patients associated with high cumulative estimated doses of ionizing radiation.

Keywords: cancer risk; kidney transplant; medical imaging; radiation dose

Journal Article.  4482 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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