X-ray clinic

About X-rays

All forms of medical imaging are beneficial to the patient if used properly.

The referring doctor and the X-ray clinic will ensure that the X-rays used for the examination help to ensure that the patient is given the correct diagnosis and thus receives the correct treatment.

The benefit of using X-rays far outweighs the small risk of being exposed to X-rays.

The X-ray image is formed using the X-rays sent through the part of the body to be examined. Soft body parts such as fat, muscle, skin and blood do not retain (absorb) much of the rays and therefore appear as dark shadows in the image.

Bone tissue, on the other hand, will absorb much of the rays and appear as white shadows. For simple bone examinations, a very small dose of X-rays is included.

Every day we are exposed to background radiation from the surroundings – from the earth, the air we breathe, the food we eat and from building materials. The background radiation in Denmark is approx. 3 mSv (milliSievert) per year. Each X-ray examination gives us a small additional radiation dose that varies from a few days to a few years of natural background radiation. At the low radiation doses used for the studies, the known harmful effect consists of a minimally increased risk of developing cancer many years after the radiation, see the table below. All risk levels are very small compared to the 25% risk we already have for developing cancer.

Are X-rays Harmful?

X-ray examinations contribute to the total radiation dose received throughout life. The older you are, the less the risk of developing cancer caused by X-rays, simply because there is less time for the cancer to develop in. Therefore, it is important to only expose children to X-rays when the doctor assesses that it is the only one. opportunity to obtain a definite diagnosis. The expected risk of several X-ray examinations is obtained by adding the risk for each individual examination together. It makes no difference whether the patient is examined by X-ray 10 times in one day or whether the examinations are spread over e.g. years. The risk is the same. If a patient has already had many X-ray examinations and is therefore worried about having more done, remember that

Protection of ovaries and testicles

To avoid unnecessary irradiation of the ovaries and testicles, we use lead protection in examinations involving the lower abdomen, pelvis, lower back and hips when the patient is of childbearing age. There may be studies where it is not practically possible to use lead protection as it may obscure important information in the image.

Patients of childbearing potential

All female patients of childbearing potential are questioned by the radiographer about any pregnancy before the X-ray examination is started. If there is a possibility or just doubt about pregnancy, the further course is agreed with the radiologist.

To the referring physicians

Remember to ask patients about previous relevant examinations. It can in some cases save them unnecessary studies.


X-ray clinic
Speciallægernes Hus Morten Brørupsgade 10 8000 Aarhus C
86 20 60 00