Medical radiation exposure in children with bleeding disorders: an institutional experience.
ABSTRACT Patients with bleeding disorders may be exposed to ionizing radiation during medical care. We hypothesized that children with severe haemophilia may have higher radiation exposure than those with mild bleeding disorders (MBDs). To compare medical radiation exposure rates between children with severe haemophilia and MBDs. Charts of 35 pediatric patients with severe haemophilia were randomly selected from a database of active male patients followed in our bleeding disorders clinic from 2000 to 2010. Case patients were age and sex matched with two control patients with MBDs [Type 1 von Willebrand disease (VWD) or mild platelet function defect (PFD)]. By retrospective review, data on radiation exposure in millisieverts (mSv) was collected from radiological studies performed within Emory/CHOA. The rates of exposure between cohorts were compared using the Mann-Whitney Test. Case patients had a mean of 11.3 (median 8, IQR = 29) radiographic studies compared with 1.8 (median 1, IQR = 11) for controls (P < 0.001). The mean effective dose of radiation per patient per year of study was two mSv for case patients (median 0.4, IQR = 3) and 0.4 mSv for control patients (median 0.01, IQR = 0.3) (P < 0.001). Overall, 1.4% of controls and 31.4% of cases accumulated high to very high levels of exposure ( > 20 mSv). Case patients with severe hemophilia accumulated significantly more medical radiation exposure than controls. While the use of ionizing radiation is often necessary for management of these patients, avoidance of unnecessary exposure along with exploration of alternative imaging techniques and low dose protocols should be considered whenever possible.