PURPOSE: Analysis of all relevant data of X-ray examinations performed in a university children's hospital and stored electronically in a database since 1976., MATERIALS AND METHOD: After 30 years of data gathering, the database now covers 276 739 radiological examinations (radiographs & fluoroscopies) of all age groups from newborns to adolescents. This database now encompasses basic personal patient data, type of the radiological procedure, individual radiographic/fluoroscopic settings, dose measurements (dose area product), individual referral criteria and radiological diagnosis. The preparation and analysis of this database was made with a set of self-written algorithms (PC program: PADOS [Programm zur PAdiatrischen DOSimetrie = Program for PEdiatric DOSimetry])., RESULTS: The frequency of childhood X-rays and fluoroscopic examinations per patient has substantially changed over the last 30 years. We could show that the indication for X-ray diagnostics for newborns and infants was higher than for the other childhood age groups. In addition, the number of patients who had a high number of X-ray examinations clearly declined in the last years and the time for standard fluoroscopic examinations was considerably reduced., CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive database as described is a prerequisite for quality assurance in X-ray diagnostics as well as for the calculation of cumulative radiation dose and follow-up epidemiological studies.
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