Gonadal shielding was first introduced to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations in 1976 when hereditary effects and risks became a cause for concern. Patient shielding has always been classified as standard practice in radiography until recently because of current research suggesting the negligible risks of radiation. The idea behind gonadal shielding was to protect sensitive tissues and organs from ionizing radiation and reduce the risk of inherited DNA mutations. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has provided research and discussed the benefits of discontinuing the use of gonadal shielding due to the insignificant radiation risks associated with shielding reproductive organs. Recent studies found the use of gonadal shielding has caused an increase in repeat exposures and dose due to misplacement of shields, emerging digital technology, and automatic exposure controls used in radiology.
The purpose of this research is to find if there is a significant difference in radiation dose to patients with and without gonadal shielding. In order to conduct this research, individuals utilized phantoms with and without gonadal shielding in a radiology laboratory at a university. The experiment consisted of taking radiographs of the chest, abdomen, pelvis and knee phantoms with and without shielding. Current studies and research show the negligible benefit of shielding however, it is still a controversial practice after being a fundamental part of radiography.
Ibarra, Millie; Mogensen, Nykell; and Woolf, Ali, "Gonadal Shielding and Its Effect On Dose" (2021). 2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 56.