OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to determine whether using a film with radiopaque coordinates placed over the region of interest to guide shoulder arthrography can reduce the dose of radiation received by patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS The entrance dose was obtained in 34 patients (mean age, 44 years; range, 15 to 75 years). The dose received by organs at risk and the effective dose were estimated with Monte Carlo techniques using the following input parameters: patient anatomy, examination geometry, and air kerma at the entrance to the patient without backscattering. Arthrography was performed with a remote controlled device and images were acquired digitally without fluoroscopy. RESULTS The mean thickness of the shoulders studied was 14.6+/-2.1cm (9-20 cm). Images were obtained with 80+/-10 kVp (60-85 kVp) and 6.5+/-3.5 mAs (1.4-17 mAs). The mean time of irradiation for each patient was 20+/-6 ms (6.9-47.9 ms). The calculated air kerma was 0.41+/-0.19 mGy and the effective dose was 0.79+/-0.40 muSv. CONCLUSIONS The technique described in this study has enabled us to reduce the dose of radiation received by patients undergoing shoulder arthrography in comparison with other techniques described in the literature and to ensure that the radiologist performing the procedure is not irradiated.