Microdosimetric measurements in beams of diagnostic X rays (between 30 and 125 kV) have been performed. In these pulsed radiation fields, microdosimetric measurements are possible only by application of the variance-covariance technique. The dose mean lineal energy, yD, is determined for various simulated diameters, at different depths in the absorber, and at different points within the pulse intervals. From the measured temporal dependences one can also obtain values of yD for different X-ray pulse generators. The results demonstrate the potential of the variance-covariance method for a diversity of microdosimetric measurements in radiation protection and in the quality control of radiation beams.