Estimation of patient skin dose in fluoroscopy: summary of a joint report by AAPM TG357 and EFOMP

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Background: Physicians use fixed C-arm fluoroscopy equipment with many interventional radiological and cardiological procedures. The associated effective dose to a patient is generally considered low risk, as the benefit-risk ratio is almost certainly highly favorable. However, X-ray-induced skin injuries may occur due to high absorbed patient skin doses from complex fluoroscopically guided interventions (FGI). Suitable action levels for patient-specific follow-up could improve the clinical practice. There is a need for a refined metric regarding follow-up of X-ray-induced patient injuries and the knowledge gap regarding skin dose-related patient information from fluoroscopy devices must be filled. The most useful metric to indicate a risk of erythema, epilation or greater skin injury that also includes actionable information is the peak skin dose, that is, the largest dose to a region of skin. Materials and Methods: The report is based on a comprehensive review of best practices and methods to estimate peak skin dose found in the scientific literature and situates the importance of the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) standard detailing pertinent information contained in the Radiation Dose Structured Report (RDSR) and DICOM image headers for FGI devices. Furthermore, the expertise of the task group members and consultants have been used to bridge and discuss different methods and associated available DICOM information for peak skin dose estimation. Results: The report contributes an extensive summary and discussion of the current state of the art in estimating peak skin dose with FGI procedures with regard to methodology and DICOM information. Improvements in skin dose estimation efforts with more refined DICOM information are suggested and discussed. Conclusions: The endeavor of skin dose estimation is greatly aided by the continuing efforts of the scientific medical physics community, the numerous technology enhancements, the dose-controlling features provided by the FGI device manufacturers, and the emergence and greater availability of the DICOM RDSR. Refined and new dosimetry systems continue to evolve and form the infrastructure for further improvements in accuracy. Dose-related content and information systems capable of handling big data are emerging for patient dose monitoring and quality assurance tools for large-scale multihospital enterprises.




Andersson, J., Bednarek, D. R., Bolch, W., Boltz, T., Bosmans, H., Gislason-Lee, A. J., … Zamora, D. (2021). Estimation of patient skin dose in fluoroscopy: summary of a joint report by AAPM TG357 and EFOMP. Medical Physics, 48(7), e671–e696.

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