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Objectives:The aim of this study is to evaluate radiation exposure resulting from the comprehensive health examinations of selected university hospital programs and to present basic data for research and management strategies on the health effects of medical radiation exposure. Methods: Radiation-based diagnostic studies of the comprehensive health examination programs of ten university hospitals in Seoul, Korea, as introduced in their websites, were analyzed. The medical radiation studies of the programs were reviewed by radiolo¬gists. Only the effective doses of the basic studies were included in the analysis. The op¬tional studies of the programs were excluded. Results: Among the 190 comprehensive health examination programs, 132 programs (69.5%) included computed tomography studies, with an average of 1.4 scans. The av¬erage effective dose of radiation by program was 3.62 mSv for an intensive program for specific diseases; 11.12 mSv for an intensive program for cancer; 18.14 mSv for a premi¬um program; and 24.08 mSv for an overnight program. A higher cost of a programs was linked to a higher effective dose (r=0.812). The effective doses of the examination programs for the same purposes differed by as much as 2.1 times by hospital. Inclusion of positron emission tomography–computed tomography was the most critical factor in determining the level of effective dose. Conclusions: It was found that radiation exposure dose from comprehensive health exam programs targeted for an asymptomatic, healthy public reached between 3.6 and 24 times the annual dose limit for the general public. Relevant management policies at the national level should be provided to minimize medical radiation exposure.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate radiation exposure resulting from the comprehensive health examinations of selected university hospital programs and to present basic data for research and management strategies on the health effects of medical radiation exposure. Methods: Radiation-based diagnostic studies of the comprehensive health examination programs of ten university hospitals in Seoul, Korea, as introduced in their websites, were analyzed. The medical radiation studies of the programs were reviewed by radiolo¬gists. Only the effective doses of the basic studies were included in the analysis. The op¬tional studies of the programs were excluded. Results: Among the 190 comprehensive health examination programs, 132 programs (69.5%) included computed tomography studies, with an average of 1.4 scans. The av¬erage effective dose of radiation by program was 3.62 mSv for an intensive program for specific diseases; 11.12 mSv for an intensive program for cancer; 18.14 mSv for a premi¬um program; and 24.08 mSv for an overnight program. A higher cost of a programs was linked to a higher effective dose (r=0.812). The effective doses of the examination programs for the same purposes differed by as much as 2.1 times by hospital. Inclusion of positron emission tomography–computed tomography was the most critical factor in determining the level of effective dose. Conclusions: It was found that radiation exposure dose from comprehensive health exam programs targeted for an asymptomatic, healthy public reached between 3.6 and 24 times the annual dose limit for the general public. Relevant management policies at the national level should be provided to minimize medical radiation exposure.