Diagnostic radiology is essential in the care of neonates. Survival of extremely preterm neonates and neonates with multiple birth defects inevitably results in a number of diagnostic radiologic procedures being performed in modern neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Harmful effects of radiation are well known. The number of radiographs performed on preterm neonates is described in several studies over the years. There is no estimate of the number of radiographs performed on neonates of all gestational ages admitted to a NICU. There are multiple dosimetry studies describing the radiation doses from plain chest and abdominal radiographs in preterm neonates. Some of the studies measure the doses imparted by contrast studies in neonates, not preterm neonates. Background natural radiation is estimated to be higher than the radiation from plain radiographs. The radiation from the contrast studies is not known. The article describes the units used to describe doses of radiation, the effects of radiation, and our experience with diagnostic radiographic procedures in neonates of all gestational ages.

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