Chapter 2 – Principles of Radiation Biology and Radiation Protection

Appropriateness of Imaging Guidelines

The ACOG and Imaging Gently Alliance guidelines can be supplemented by the use of a wide variety of resources that will facilitate the appropriate use of imaging. (6, 7)

Most professional imaging associations have created and disseminated scientifically validated, peer-reviewed guidelines that provide assistance in ordering the most appropriate imaging test while avoiding less useful, or non-contributory, tests that could unnecessarily expose the patient to ionizing radiation. These guidelines also will provide information about the relative radiation exposure that can be expected for one examination vs. another.

If possible, the use of imaging modalities that do not use ionizing radiation (ultrasound and MRI) should be considered.

Hence, it is hoped that fewer examinations will be requested and the most useful and appropriate examination will be performed, reducing the use of inappropriate ionizing radiation. Also, if an examination with radiation is required the dose experienced by the patient can be justified with the argument that the most useful, appropriate, diagnostic examination has been utilized limiting the total radiation dose experienced by the patient. (8 – 11)