January 13, 2021

NCRP Recommends Against Routine Gonadal Shielding

On Jan. 13, The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) released Statement No. 13, NCRP Recommendations for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography. This statement, along with an “Implementation Guidance for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography” and accompanying trifold flyer, offers a roadmap for moving away from the long-held practice — including suggestions for revising state and local regulations.

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) and several other radiology-related professional societies have endorsed the paradigm shift away from routine gonadal shielding in X-ray imaging.

NCRP Statement No. 13 and its accompanying implementation guide provide imaging practices the opportunity to more fully understand the reasons for the shift and consider not only changing their patient practices, but also how they communicate with their patients about this topic.

“NCRP’s new recommendations are a critical step for the radiology community moving forward together with discontinuing routine gonadal shielding,” said Mahadevappa Mahesh, MS, PhD, FAAPM, FACR, Chair of the ACR Commission on Medical Physics. “We encourage practices to review NCRP Statement No. 13, the implementation guide and the trifold, available for practices to print and share with their patients,” added Mahesh.

NCRP states in the accompanying trifold that, “Based on over 70 years of research, medical experts now know that the best way to keep patients safe during imaging exams is to not use shields. This is true at any age, including for those who plan to have children in the future. We know this is different from how things have been done for a long time.”

The public can view the NCRP Statement No. 13, the implantation guide and the trifold online.