ALARA - "As Low As Reasonably Achievable"

ALARA is a general principle relative to keeping radiation dose exposure to patients as low as reasonable for each procedure, given clinical need and patient factors.

Why is ALARA important?

  • In March, 2009, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement released a critical report that indicated that radiation dose to the United States population had risen dramatically since the early 1980’s
  • IR procedures are the third largest contributor to medical radiation to the US public
  • Children are more sensitive to radiation effects and have a longer life span during which manifest possible changes as a result of radiation exposure
  • Children who undergo interventional procedures may have a chronic illness and receive a higher lifetime cumulative dose secondary to repeat procedures and exposure
  • Practices vary from institution to institution, and even within an institution
  • For the Patient: Radiation dose is optimized when imaging is performed with the least amount of radiation required to provide adequate image quality and image guidance
  • For the Staff: Scattered radiation in the room is directly proportional to the patient dose; if patient dose is reduced, so too is the dose to the operator and team


> ways to achieve ALARA ...