Radiation doses for barium meals in the Western Cape, South Africa

Caroline Nabasenja, Penelope Claire Engel-Hills, Tobias Christiaan Kotze, Florence Elizabeth Davidson


This study investigated the radiation dose received by patients referred for barium meal (BaM) examinations at three state hospitals in the Western Cape, South Africa (SA). Twenty-five participants (male and female patients) aged between 18 and 85 years and weighing 50 to 85 kilograms (kgs) were included in the study. The radiation dose to the participants was measured using a Dose-Area-Product (DAP) meter permanently fitted to the fluoroscopy equipment at the selected health facility sites. Measurements were done on digital fluoroscopy (DF) and conventional fluoroscopy (CF) units. The third quartile and median DAP values were 20.1 Gycm2 and 13.6 Gycm2 respectively. The median DAP value (13.6 Gycm2) is recommended as the diagnostic reference level (DRL) for BaM examinations because this value is less affected by outlying values of under or overweight [1]. The relationship between DAP and patient weight, fluoroscopy time (FT), the number of images recorded, and the employment of DF or CF units, are discussed.


Radiation protection, barium studies, reference dose levels, diagnostic reference level

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The South African Radiographer | ISSN 0258 0241

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