Use of Contact Shielding and Modern Technology Provides Negligible Benefit
The American College of Radiology (ACR) has endorsed a position statement from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) indicating that the legacy practice of gonadal shielding during diagnostic imaging should be discontinued. Research on this topic demonstrates that gonadal shielding can increase dose, is ineffective in female patients, and that radiosensitivity to gonads is not as high or consequential as previously believed.
The experiment conducted by the author provided evidence that contact shielding provides minimal dose savings in adult patients. For exams in which the gonads are outside the primary field of view, data revealed that contact shielding is unable to protect against internal scatter. The study further revealed that the practice of gonadal shielding would be better discontinued due to its negligible benefits and the associated risks that paradoxically can lead to increased patient dose due to its incompatibility with advanced technology, anatomical positioning errors, and loss of diagnostic efficacy.
Bates, Aline; Mourant, Natalie; Johnson, Michael; Clower, Chelsea; Wirth, Madison; and Koster, Madison, "Use of Contact Shielding and Modern Technology Provides Negligible Benefit" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 9.