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Professional/Education/Science Policies

Policy number Policy name Policy date Sunset date
PP 25-B AAPM Position Statement on Radiation Risks from Medical Imaging Procedures 3/21/2017 12/31/2022
Policy source
Policy text

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) supports the position that medical imaging should be appropriate and should use the lowest radiation dose necessary to accomplish the clinical task.

At the present time, there is no convincing epidemiological evidence of increased cancer incidence or mortality from low radiation doses (< 100 mSv).

Because medical imaging exposures are typically much lower than 100 mSv, when such exposures are medically appropriate, the anticipated benefits to the patient are highly likely to outweigh any small potential risks.

Therefore, when discussions of risk occur, it is essential that the benefit of the clinical task also be discussed.

Additionally, the AAPM discourages describing potential risks associated with medical imaging using predictions of hypothetical cancer incidence and deaths. These predictions are contrary to directives of radiation protection organizations, are highly speculative and can lead to sensationalistic coverage in the public media, leading some patients to fear or refuse appropriate medical imaging.

AAPM members continuously strive to improve medical imaging by optimizing radiation doses and while maximizing benefits of imaging procedures involving ionizing radiation.

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