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Radiology/Fluoroscopy -HSG Test

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Question
About 6 years ago I had an hsg test that lasted a very long time.  The technician had me reposition myself and I had trouble arranging myself so that I was in the correct field of view.  The first view wasn't magnified but the remaining 9 views of my left side were. They were magnified so that the image was twice as big. The 9 radiographs were spot views (on 4 x6 film size) and magnification was done during the time I was having fluoroscopy. The room was very dim. I believe magnification mode was on for at least 3 minutes. The exam took place in a facility in California. The company went bankrupt shortly after my exam and the facility closed. I am unable to get specifics on dose. I am trying to figure out my dose and from my own research I learned the magnification increases dose by 4 times the amount. Was there a limit to the amount of rads per minute a person could have received in 2006? Would I take this amount and multiply it by 5 to get the absolute most radiation dose I could have received for the exam?

Answer
Hi, Kim.

Here's a summary of this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12835963

"A study was conducted of 78 consecutive patients undergoing HSG as part of their infertility work-up. Two things were estimated:
~the radiogenic risk for deleterious effects on a possible future embryo and
~the radiogenic risk for cancer induction on the patient

The average HSG procedure involves a mean fluoroscopic time of 0.3 min and a mean number of radiographs of 3.2. The dose to female gonads from an average HSG procedure was 2.7 mGy and the patient effective dose was 1.2 mSv.

(Note: Even though you were in the darkened x-ray room for a long time, radiation occurs only when a momentary switch is engaged. Exposure is intermittent, not constant.)

The risk for radiogenic anomalies in a future embryo of the woman undergoing an average HSG procedure and the risk for radiogenic fatal cancer induction in the exposed woman were estimated to be less than 10(-3) of the correspondent nominal risks.

Radiation risks from a typical HSG are low, but they may be elevated if fluoroscopic and/or radiographic exposures are prolonged for any reason."

So it would seem that you needn't be too worried.

Regarding magnification increasing the dose, I'm not sure that's correct. It's been a VERY long time since I've done any fluoroscopy. But even way back then, magnification was a function of the distance between the image receptor and the radiation source. I don't think that affects the amount of radiation absorbed, but I could be mistaken.

Regarding time limits on exposure, yes, there are limits of exposure imposed. Here's a good page on general radiation dosage: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?pg=sfty_xray

I hope this info is helpful,
Delia

Radiology

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Delia White

Expertise

I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.

Experience

I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

Education/Credentials
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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