ESR News January 2015

The PiDRL workshop in Lisbon

John Damilakis, Professor of Medical Physics

The concept of Diagnostic Reference Levels (DRLs) has been introduced to indicate unusually high or low patient radiation doses from medical imaging examinations and procedures. In 1999 the European Commission (EC) published the document Radiation Protection 109 (RP 109) on Guidance on diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) for medical exposure (1). This document highlights the importance of establishing DRLs for high-dose medical examinations, in particular computed tomography and interventional radiology procedures. The utility of DRLs in radiation protection of patients is also very well acknowledged in the newly published ‘Euratom BSS’ (2).

The ‘PiDRL workshop’ is being organised as part of the ‘European DRLs for Paediatric Imaging’ project, otherwise known as ‘PiDRL’. PiDRL is a new 27-month EC project which is aims to a) develop a methodology for establishing and using DRLs for paediatric medical imaging and b) update and extend the European DRLs to cover as many procedures as possible. The organisations involved include the European Society of Radiology (ESR) as coordinator, the European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP), the European Society of Paediatric Radiology (ESPR), the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS) and the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) with Public Research Centre Henri Tudor (CRP-HT) as subcontractor.

The project’s work includes three major tasks:

  1. Agree on a methodology for establishing and using DRLs for paediatric imaging and produce new European guidelines on paediatric DRLs (Work Package 1)
  2. Update and extend the European DRLs as provided in RP 109 (1) to cover more procedures (Work Package 2)
  3. Organise a European workshop to discuss the results of the first two tasks and the need for further action on DRLs and optimisation of radiation protection of paediatric patients (Work Package 3).


The PiDRL workshop will take place in Lisbon/Portugal on October 15-17, 2015 (Figure). We will discuss a range of topics pertaining to the current status, difficulties and future opportunities in the field of paediatric DRLs. Τhe outcomes will form the basis for European Guidelines on DRLs for paediatric imaging covering plain radiography, fluoroscopically-guided interventional procedures and CT. The scientific committee of the PiDRL workshop has endeavored to set up an exciting programme which includes round tables, panel discussions, oral and poster presentations. We are inviting you to attend the meeting and participate actively in discussions to share experiences, lessons learned and best practices in developing and implementing DRLs in paediatric imaging and develop strategies for optimisation of radiation protection of paediatric patients. The call for abstract submission for oral and poster presentations on the topic ‘Patient Doses from Paediatric Diagnostic and Interventional Procedures – Establishment and Use of Paediatric DRLs’ will close in April 2015. Besides our scientific programme, participants will enjoy sightseeing, architecture, museums and Portuguese cuisine in Lisbon. More information about the PiDRL project and PiDRL workshop can be found at



1. EC, RP 109. Guidance on diagnostic reference levels DRLs for medical exposure. Directorate-General Environment, Luxembourg.

2. Council of the European Union. (2013). Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom, 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/Euratom and 2003/122/Euratom. Official Journal L-13 of 17.01.2014.