Diagnostic reference level

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A diagnostic reference level is a form of investigation level used as a tool to aid in optimisation of protection in the medical exposure of patients for diagnostic and interventional procedures. It is used in medical imaging with ionising radiation to indicate whether in routine conditions the amount of radiation used for a specified procedure is unusually high or low for that procedure. For nuclear medicine the administered activity (amount of radioactive material) or preferably the administered activity per unit of body weight is used. Also see ‘DRL quantity’.

(from ICRP Publication 135, 2017)

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from ICRP Publication 129, 2015

Dose levels in medical radiodiagnostic practices or in the case of radiopharmaceuticals levels of activity for typical examinations for groups of standard- sized patients or standard phantoms for broadly defined types of equipment. These levels are not expected to be exceeded for standard procedures when good and normal practice regarding diagnostic and technical performance is applied.

from ICRP Publication 103, 2007; ICRP Publication 120, 2012; and ICRP Publication 127, 2014

Used in medical imaging with ionizing radiation to indicate whether, in routine conditions, the patient dose or administered activity (amount of radioactive material) from a specified procedure is unusually high or low for that procedure.