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  • RSNA Syllabus for Biological Effects and Radiation Safety Associated with Imaging Modalities Updated 2011-12

  • 1. Radiation Quantities
        a. Exposure
        b. Absorbed Dose
        c. Equivalent Dose
        d. Effective Dose
        e. Activity
        f. Linear Energy Transfer
        g. Questions
     

    2. Cellular response to radiation
        a. Radiolysis of water and radical formation
        b. Indirect and direct action
        c. Time scale of radiation effects
        d. Cell kinetics, mitotic death and apoptosis
        e. DNA damage and chromosomal aberrations
        f. Cell cycle stage and radiation sensitivity
        g. Sublethal damage
        h. Cell survival curves
        i. Dose-rate effect
        j. The oxygen effect
        k. Relative biological effectiveness (OER, RBE)
        l. Radioprotectors and Radiosensitizers
        m. Questions
     

    3. Radiation Induced Injury
        a. Stochastic Effects
        b. Deterministic Effects
        c. Questions
     

    4. Radiation induced cataracts
        a. Questions
     

    5. Radiation carcinogenesis
        a. Irradiated populations from which quantitative data have been obtained for cancer incidence
        b. The latent period
        c. Sensitivity to radiation-induced cancer as a function of age
        d. Risk estimates for radiation-induced cancer
        e. Questions
     

    6. Radiation-induced injury to the gonads
        a. Spermatogenesis
        b. Oogenesis
        c. Radiation doses to produce sterility
        d. Hereditary effects of radiation
        e. Questions
     

    7. Radiation effects on the developing embryo and fetus
        a. Major effects of radiation on the embryo and fetus
        b. Preimplantation
        c. Organogenesis
        d. Fetal period
        e. Survivors of the a-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki irradiated in utero
        f. Childhood cancer and in uterus irradiation
        g. Occupational exposure of a pregnant worker
        h. Cutoff point for recommendation of therapeutic abortion
        i. Questions
     

    8. Whole-body radiation effects
        a. Acute radiation syndrome
            i. Prodromal
            ii. Latent
            iii. Cerebrovascular (CNS)
            iv. Gastrointestinal
            v. Hematopoietic (bone marrow)
        b. Kinetics of depression and recovery of blood cell components
        c. LD50/60
        d. Treatment of radiation accident victims
        e. Questions
     

    9. Sources of radiation to the human population (NCRP 160)
        a. Natural sources
        b. Cosmic rays
        c. Natural radioactivity in the earth’s crust
        d. Internal exposure
        e. Radon
        f. Enhanced natural sources
        g. Man-made sources
        h. Average annual doses from background and diagnostic medicine procedures
        i. Questions
     

    10. Doses and risks associated with diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology/cardiology, and nuclear medicine
        a. Nuclear medicine
            i. Doses from typical therapeutic and diagnostic examinations
            ii. Breast feeding
        b. Dose and exposure in diagnostic radiology
            i. X-ray procedures
            ii. CT procedures
            iii. Mammography
            iv. Fluoroscopy
        c. Radiation effects in the skin
        d. Fetal Doses
            i. Nuclear medicine
            ii. Diagnostic
        e. Questions
     

    11. Radiation protection
        a. Objectives of radiation protection
        b. Committees and regulatory bodies concerned with risk estimates and radiation protection
        c. Occupational exposure
        d. As low as reasonably achievable (ALARA)
        e. Protection of the embryo/fetus
        f. Medical and Sentinel Events
        g. Exposure of members of the public (non-occupational)
        h. Questions
     

    12. Biologic hazards of magnetic resonance imaging
        a. Static magnetic fields
            i. Projectiles
            ii. Implanted metal objects
            iii. Embedded metal objects
            iv. Pacemakers
            v. Vertigo
            vi. Equipment compatibility (Safe, Conditional, Unsafe)
        b. Radiofrequency fields
            i. Radiofrequency waves and Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)
            ii. Response of implanted metal objects
            iii. Potential risk for burns (Closed loops)
        c. Gradient fields
            i. Nerve stimulation
            ii. Loud noise
            iii. Magnetophosphenes
        d. Claustrophobia
        e. Quenching (asphyxiation)
        f. Contrast Agent Reactions
        g. Regulatory limits
            i. 5 gauss line
            ii. Noise limits
            iii. SAR
         h. Questions
     

    13. Biologic hazards of ultrasonography
        a. Tissue heating, ultrasound frequency and SPTA intensity
            i. Thermal Index (TI)
        b. Ultrasound induced cavitation
            i. Mechanical Index (MI)
        c. Pulsed Doppler
        d. Regulatory limits
        e. Questions