Reduction of breast surface dose, cancer and mortality risks using lead apron during the head scanning: a computed tomography technique

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Student Research Committee, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

2 Babol University of Medical Sciences

3 Department of Radiology, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

4 Department of Medical Physics Radiobiology and Radiation Protection, School of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

5 Department of Medical Physics & Radiation Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran



Introduction: The current study aimed to assess the dose reduction effect of lead apron shielding on the breast regions during head CT scanning.

Materials and methods: The routine head CT scans were performed in 28 female patients (with a mean age of 51.37 ± 14.52 years). The common lead aprons were folded and positioned in the lung regions to protect the breasts. Breast region doses were measured using six thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100) to assess each patient's lead apron's dose reduction. Three TLDs were located above the apron and three dosimeters under the apron to calculate the dose reduction. Breast radiation-induced cancer incidence and mortality risks were estimated using BEIR-VII model based on the estimated breast doses with and without apron shielding for all ages of exposures. Finally, the cancer risks and measured doses (with and without the use of the apron) were compared using Paired sample T-Test in SPSS software.

Results: The statistical analysis showed that the breast dose and radiation-induced cancer risks in the presence of the apron had been reduced significantly (P-value < 0.003). Mean ± standard deviation of the breast dose with the presence of apron and without apron were 0.18 ± 0.06 mGy and 0.49 ± 0.13 mGy, respectively. Although all the cancer risks for both groups (with and without apron) were very low, using lead apron can decrease breast cancer incidence ([1.24±0.32]×10-3 % without apron vs. [0.46±0.15]×10-3 % with apron) and mortality ([0.30±0.08]×10-3 % without apron vs. [0.11±0.04]×10-3 % with apron) about 63% in all patients.

Conclusion: wearing lead aprons in the lung region, which are easily accessible in every center, for patients undergoing head CT scans, could significantly reduce the breast doses, and consequently breast cancer risks. T


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Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 17 April 2022
  • Receive Date: 25 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 13 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 17 April 2022
  • First Publish Date: 17 April 2022