Radiation protection in non-ionizing and ionizing body composition assessment procedures

Sergio Salerno, Arcangela Maldera, Luciana La Tegola, Elena Pierpaoli, Samantha Cornacchia, Umberto Tupputi, Laura Eusebi, Giovanni Ricatti, Giuseppe Guglielmi, Samantha Cornacchia, Giulia Guglielmi

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

1 Citazioni (Scopus)


Body composition assessment (BCA) represents a valid instrument to evaluate nutritional status through the quantification of lean and fat tissue, in healthy subjects and sick patients. According to the clinical indication, body composition (BC) can be assessed by different modalities. To better analyze radiation risks for patients involved, BCA procedures can be divided into two main groups: the first based on the use of ionizing radiation (IR), involving dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and computed tomography (CT), and others based on non-ionizing radiation (NIR) [magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)]. Ultrasound (US) techniques using mechanical waves represent a separate group. The purpose of our study was to analyze publications about IR and NIR effects in order to make physicians aware about the risks for patients undergoing medical procedures to assess BCA providing to guide them towards choosing the most suitable method. To this end we reported the biological effects of IR and NIR and their associated risks, with a special regard to the excess risk of death from radio-induced cancer. Furthermore, we reported and compared doses obtained from different IR techniques, giving practical indications on the optimization process. We also summarized current recommendations and limits for techniques employing NIR and US. The authors conclude that IR imaging procedures carry relatively small individual risks that are usually justified by the medical need of patients, especially when the optimization principle is applied. As regards NIR imaging procedures, a few studies have been conducted on interactions between electromagnetic fields involved in MR exam and biological tissue. To date, no clear link exists between MRI or associated magnetic and pulsed radio frequency (RF) fields and subsequent health risks, whereas acute effects such as tissue burns and phosphenes are well-known; as regards the DNA damage and the capability of NIR to break chemical bonds, they are not yet robustly demonstrated. MRI is thus considered to be very safe for BCA as well US procedures.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1723-1738
Numero di pagine16
RivistaQuantitative Imaging in Medicine and Surgery
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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