The objective of this study was to update the 2002 data on medical exposure of the French population to ionizing radiation. It is based on 2007 data and only includes exposures from diagnostic procedures: conventional radiology, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, and diagnostic interventional radiology. Relevant data concerning the nature and frequencies of the examinations were obtained from two main sources: the national health insurance data for private practice and representative surveys in public hospitals for public practice. An "average" effective dose was assessed for each type of examination using principally dosimetric data collected to update the French diagnostic reference levels and professional guidance. The results showed that 74.6 million examinations were performed in 2007, leading to an average effective dose per inhabitant equal to 1.3 mSv per year. Conventional radiology and CT represented 63% and 10.1% of the examinations and 26.1% and 58.0% of the effective dose, respectively. The annual number of examinations per inhabitant was constant between 2002 and 2007 (about 1.2 examinations). However, the corresponding average effective dose per inhabitant increased by 57%, from 0.83 to 1.3 mSv per year. This increased dose was due mostly to a growing number of CT and nuclear medicine examinations. As recommended by the European Commission, studies should be conducted every 5 y to survey the evolution of medical exposure of the French population. Furthermore, specific studies should be conducted to evaluate whether this estimated increase in dose delivered for diagnostics is related to an increase in the medical benefit.
Auteur : Etard C, Sinno Tellier S, Empereur Bissonnet P, Aubert B
Health physics, 2012, vol. 102, n°. 6, p. 670-9