Although the risk of radiation-induced spontaneous malignancy and genetic anomalies from occupational radiological procedures is relatively low – and perhaps slightly lower still for the general population – patients and endoscopists in particular, should be aware of the cumulative risk associated with all exposure. Radiation dose has a direct linear relationship with fluoroscopy duration; therefore, limiting fluoroscopy time is one of the most modifiable methods of reducing exposure during fluoroscopic procedures. This retrospective study analyzed more than 1000 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedures and aimed to determine the specific patient, physician and procedural factors that affect fluoroscopy duration.
Fluoroscopy during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) has a logarithmic relationship with radiation exposure, and carries a known risk of radiation exposure to patients and staff. Factors associated with prolonged fluoroscopy duration have not been well delineated.
To determine the specific patient, physician and procedural factors that affect fluoroscopy duration.
A retrospective analysis of 1071 ERCPs performed at two tertiary care referral hospitals over an 18-month period was conducted. Patient, physician and procedural variables were recorded at the time of the procedure.
The mean duration of 969 fluoroscopy procedures was 4.66 min (95% CI 4.38 to 4.93). Multivariable analysis showed that the specific patient factors associated with prolonged fluoroscopy duration included age and diagnosis (both P<0.0001). The endoscopist was found to play an important role in the duration of fluoroscopy (ie, all endoscopists studied had a mean fluoroscopy duration significantly different from the reference endoscopist). In addition, the following procedural variables were found to be significant: number of procedures, basket use, biopsies, papillotomy (all P<0.0001) and use of a tritome (P=0.004). Mean fluoroscopy duration (in minutes) with 95% CIs for different diagnoses were as follows: common bile duct stones (n=443) 5.12 (3.05 to 4.07); benign biliary strictures (n=135) 3.94 (3.26 to 4.63); malignant biliary strictures (n=124) 5.82 (4.80 to 6.85); chronic pancreatitis (n=49) 4.53 (3.44 to 5.63); bile leak (n=26) 3.67 (2.23 to 5.09); and ampullary mass (n=11) 3.88 (1.28 to 6.48). When no pathology was found (n=195), the mean fluoroscopy time was 3.56 min (95% CI 3.05 to 4.07). Comparison using t tests determined that the only two diagnoses for which fluoroscopy duration was significantly different from the reference diagnosis of ‘no pathology found’ were common bile duct stones (P<0.0001) and malignant strictures (P<0.0001).
Factors that significantly affected fluoroscopy duration included age, diagnosis, endoscopist, and the number and nature of procedures performed. Elderly patients with biliary stones or a malignant stricture were likely to require the longest duration of fluoroscopy. These identified variables may help endoscopists predict which procedures are associated with prolonged fluoroscopy duration so that appropriate precautions can be undertaken.
ERCP; Fluoroscopy time; Radiation
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an important tool for the diagnosis and treatment of the hepatobiliary system. The use of fluoroscopy to aid ERCP places both the patient and the endoscopy staff at risk of radiation-induced injury. Radiation dose to patients during ERCP depends on many factors, and the endoscopist cannot control some variables, such as patient size, procedure type, or fluoroscopic equipment used. Previous reports have demonstrated a linear relationship between radiation dose and fluoroscopy duration. When fluoroscopy is used to assist ERCP, the shortest fluoroscopy time possible is recommended. Pulsed fluoroscopy and monitoring the length of fluoroscopy have been suggested for an overall reduction in both radiation exposure and fluoroscopy times. Fluoroscopy time is shorter when ERCP is performed by an endoscopist who has many years experience of performing ERCP and carried out a large number of ERCPs in the preceding year. In general, radiation exposure is greater during therapeutic ERCP than during diagnostic ERCP. Factors associated with prolonged fluoroscopy have been delineated recently, but these have not been validated.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Radiation dose; Fluoroscopy; Radiation exposure; X-ray
Fluoroscopic guidance is frequently utilized in interventional pain management. The major purpose of fluoroscopy is correct needle placement to ensure target specificity and accurate delivery of the injectate. Radiation exposure may be associated with risks to physician, patient and personnel. While there have been many studies evaluating the risk of radiation exposure and techniques to reduce this risk in the upper part of the body, the literature is scant in evaluating the risk of radiation exposure in the lower part of the body.
Radiation exposure risk to the physician was evaluated in 1156 patients undergoing interventional procedures under fluoroscopy by 3 physicians. Monitoring of scattered radiation exposure in the upper and lower body, inside and outside the lead apron was carried out.
The average exposure per procedure was 12.0 ± 9.8 seconds, 9.0 ± 0.37 seconds, and 7.5 ± 1.27 seconds in Groups I, II, and III respectively. Scatter radiation exposure ranged from a low of 3.7 ± 0.29 seconds for caudal/interlaminar epidurals to 61.0 ± 9.0 seconds for discography. Inside the apron, over the thyroid collar on the neck, the scatter radiation exposure was 68 mREM in Group I consisting of 201 patients who had a total of 330 procedures with an average of 0.2060 mREM per procedure and 25 mREM in Group II consisting of 446 patients who had a total of 662 procedures with average of 0.0378 mREM per procedure. The scatter radiation exposure was 0 mREM in Group III consisting of 509 patients who had a total 827 procedures. Increased levels of exposures were observed in Groups I and II compared to Group III, and Group I compared to Group II.
Groin exposure showed 0 mREM exposure in Groups I and II and 15 mREM in Group III. Scatter radiation exposure for groin outside the apron in Group I was 1260 mREM and per procedure was 3.8182 mREM. In Group II the scatter radiation exposure was 400 mREM and with 0.6042 mREM per procedure. In Group III the scatter radiation exposure was 1152 mREM with 1.3930 mREM per procedure.
Results of this study showed that scatter radiation exposure to both the upper and lower parts of the physician's body is present. Protection was offered by traditional measures to the upper body only.
Radiation-induced injuries from fluoroscopic procedures in pediatric patients have occurred, and young patients are at greatest risk of many radiation-induced neoplasms. Some fluoroscopists have been injured from their use of fluoroscopy, and they are known to be at risk of radiation-induced neoplasm when radiation is not well-controlled. This article reviews the circumstances that lead to radiation injury and delineates some procedural methods to avoid injury and limit radiation exposure to both the patient and the fluoroscopist.
Radiation injury; Fluoroscopic procedures; Patient exposure; Fluoroscopist exposure
Minimally invasive percutaneous pedicle screw instrumentation methods may increase the need for intraoperative fluoroscopy, resulting in excessive radiation exposure for the patient, surgeon, and support staff. Electromagnetic field (EMF)-based navigation may aid more accurate placement of percutaneous pedicle screws while reducing fluoroscopic exposure. We compared the accuracy, time of insertion, and radiation exposure of EMF with traditional fluoroscopic percutaneous pedicle screw placement.
Minimally invasive pedicle screw placement in T8 to S1 pedicles of eight fresh-frozen human cadaveric torsos was guided with EMF or standard fluoroscopy. Set-up, insertion, and fluoroscopic times and radiation exposure and accuracy (measured with post-procedural computed tomography) were analyzed in each group.
Sixty-two pedicle screws were placed under fluoroscopic guidance and 60 under EMF guidance. Ideal trajectories were achieved more frequently with EMF over all segments (62.7% vs. 40%; p = 0.01). Greatest EMF accuracy was achieved in the lumbar spine, with significant improvements in both ideal trajectory and reduction of pedicle breaches over fluoroscopically guided placement (64.9% vs. 40%, p = 0.03, and 16.2% vs. 42.5%, p = 0.01, respectively). Fluoroscopy time was reduced 77% with the use of EMF (22 s vs. 5 s per level; p < 0.0001) over all spinal segments. Radiation exposure at the hand and body was reduced 60% (p = 0.058) and 32% (p = 0.073), respectively. Time for insertion did not vary between the two techniques.
Minimally invasive pedicle screw placement with the aid of EMF image guidance reduces fluoroscopy time and increases placement accuracy when compared with traditional fluoroscopic guidance while adding no additional time to the procedure.
Minimally invasive; Electromagnetic field navigation; Pedicle screw; Fluoroscopy; Accuracy
Coronary stenting is the primary means of coronary revascularization. There are two basic techniques of stent implantation: stenting with balloon predilatation of stenosis and stenting without predilatation (direct stenting). Limiting the time that a fluoroscope is activated and by appropriately managing the intensity of the applied radiation, the operator limits radiation in the environment, and this saves the exposure to the patient and all personnel in the room. Nephrotoxicity is one of the most important properties of radiocontrast. The smaller amount of radiocontrast used also provides multiple positive effects, primarily regarding the periprocedural risk for the patients with the reduced renal function. The goal of the study was to compare fluoroscopy time, the amount of radiocontrast, and expenses of material used in direct stenting and in stenting with predilatation.
Patients and methods
In a prospective study, 70 patients with coronary disease were randomized to direct stenting, or stenting with predilatation.
Fluoroscopy time and radiocontrast use were significantly reduced in the directly stented patients in comparison to the patients stented with balloon-predilatation. The study showed a significant reduction of expenses when using a direct stenting method in comparison to stenting with predilatation.
If the operator predicts that the procedure can be performed using direct stenting, he is encouraged to do so. Direct stenting is recommended for all percutaneous coronary interventions when appropriate conditions have been met. If direct stenting has been unsuccessful, the procedure can be converted to predilatation.
coronary stenting; balloon predilatation; percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; expenses
Optimisation of radiation protection in fluoroscopy is important since the procedure could lead to relatively high absorbed doses both in patients and personnel resulting in acute radiation injury. Optimisation procedures include adjustment of the fluoroscopy equipment such as exposure factors as well as proper use of automatic brightness control and pulsed fluoroscopy. It is also important to gain the benefits of image processing and the higher sensitivity of flat panel detectors as compared to image intensifier-TV systems.
Proper positioning of the patient with respect to detector and X-ray tube is of fundamental importance to image quality and radiation dose to the patient. Both image quality and radiation dose are also affected by the methodology used with parameters such as magnification factor, increased filtration, use of last-image-hold and the use of a grid.
There is a direct relation between patient dose and the absorbed dose to the personnel since this is mostly due to scattered radiation from the patient. If the correct methodology and the correct radiation protection devices are used, the absorbed dose to the personnel could be minimised to acceptable levels even for those working with complex procedures.
In order to have an organised review of all aspects of optimisation, it is recommendable to have an active quality system at the department. This system should define responsibilities and tasks for persons involved.
Radiation protection; fluoroscopy; patient dose; dose reduction
Factors that may reduce the dose of radiation, from diagnostic and therapeutic x-ray procedures, to the patient and to the occupational and non-occupational worker are outlined. Suitable basic radiation measuring apparatus is described. It is recommended that, in diagnostic radiography, relatively high kilovoltage, proper cones, collimation and adequate filtration be used. Some specific recommendations are made concerning fluoroscopic, photoroentgen and portable x-ray examinations. Film monitoring of personnel is advisable. Examples are given of protective devices to lessen the dosage to the occupational worker. It is the responsibility of the radiologist or physician in charge to ensure that the x-ray equipment is safe to operate and the radiation dose to the patient is kept to a minimum. The roentgen output for all radiographic examinations should be known by the responsible user.
Minimally invasive spine surgery requires placement of the skin incision at an ideal location in the patient's back by the surgeon. However, numerous fluoroscopic x-ray images are sometimes required to find the site of entry, thereby exposing patients and Operating Room personnel to additional radiation. To minimize this exposure, a radiopaque localizer grid was devised to increase planning efficiency and reduce radiation exposure.
The radiopaque localizer grid was utilized to plan the point of entry for minimally invasive spine surgery. Use of the grid allowed the surgeon to accurately pinpoint the ideal entry point for the procedure with just one or two fluoroscopic X-ray images.
The reusable localizer grid is a simple and practical device that may be utilized to more efficiently plan an entry site on the skin, thus reducing radiation exposure. This device or a modified version may be utilized for any procedure involving the spine.
Radiation; Exposure; Minimally Invasive; Spine Surgery; Localization; Innovation; Grid
Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) requires relatively lengthy fluoroscopic guidance, which might lead to substantial radiation exposure to patients or operators. The two-fluoroscopic technique (two-plane radiographs obtained using two fluoroscopes) during PV can provide simultaneous two-planar projections with reducing operative time. However, the two-fluoroscopic technique may expose the operator or patient to increased radiation dose. The aim of this study was to quantify the amount of radiation exposure to the patient or operator that occurs during PV using one- vs. two-fluoroscopic technique.
Two radiation dosimeters were placed on the right flank of each patient and on the upper sternum of each operator during 26 single-level PV procedures by one senior surgeon. The use of two-fluoroscopic technique (13 patients) and one-fluoroscopic technique (13 patients) were allocated in a consecutive and alternative manner. The operative time and mean radiation dose to each patient and operator were monitored and compared between groups.
Mean radiation dose to the patient was 1.97 ± 1.20 mSv (95% CI, 0.71 to 3.23) for the one-fluoroscopic technique group vs. 0.95 ± 0.34 mSv (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.23) for the two-fluoroscopic technique group (P =0.031). Mean radiation dose to the operator was 0.27 ± 0.12 mSv (95% CI, 0.17–0.56) for the one-fluoroscopic technique group vs. 0.25 ± 0.14 mSv (95% CI, 0.06–0.44) for the two-fluoroscopic technique group (P = 0.653). The operative time was significantly different between groups: 47.15 ± 13.48 min (range, 20–75) for the one-fluoroscopic technique group vs. 36.62 ± 8.42 min (range, 21–50) for the two-fluoroscopic technique group (P =0.019).
Compared to the one-fluoroscopic technique, the two-fluoroscopic technique used during PV provides not only shorter operative times but also reduces the radiation exposure to the patient. There was no significant difference between the two techniques with regards to radiation exposure to the operator.
Vertebral compression fracture; Osteoporosis; Vertebroplasty; Radiation dose
Radiation-induced injury to skin is an infrequent but potentially serious complication to complex fluoroscopically-guided interventional procedures. Due to a lack of experience with such injuries, the medical community has found fluoroscopically-induced injuries difficult to diagnose. Injuries have occurred globally in many countries. Serious injuries most frequently occur on the back but have also occurred on the neck, buttocks and anterior of the chest. Severities of injuries range from skin rashes and epilation to necrosis of the skin and its underlying structures. This article reviews the characteristics of these injuries and some actions that can be taken to reduce their likelihood or seriousness.
Fluoroscopy has been an integral part of modern interventional pain management. Yet fluoroscopy can be associated with risks for the patients and clinicians unless it is managed with appropriate understanding, skill and vigilance. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the amount of radiation received by a primary operator and an assistant during interventional pain procedures that involve the use of fluoroscopy
In order to examine the amount of radiation, the physicians were monitored by having them wear three thermoluminescent badges during each single procedure, with one under a lead apron, one under the apron collar and one on the leg during each single procedure. The data obtained from each thermoluminescent badge was reviewed from September 2008 to November 2008 and the annual radiation exposure was subsequently calculated.
A total of 505 interventional procedures were performed with C-arm fluoroscopy during three months. The results of this study revealed that the annual radiation exposure was relatively low for both the operator and assistant.
With proper precautions, the use of fluoroscopy during interventional pain procedures is a safe practice.
fluoroscopy; interventional pain management; radiation exposure
Although many clinicians know about the reducing effects of the pulsed and low-dose modes for fluoroscopic radiation when performing interventional procedures, few studies have quantified the reduction of radiation-absorbed doses (RADs). The aim of this study is to compare how much the RADs from a fluoroscopy are reduced according to the C-arm fluoroscopic modes used.
We measured the RADs in the C-arm fluoroscopic modes including 'conventional mode', 'pulsed mode', 'low-dose mode', and 'pulsed + low-dose mode'. Clinical imaging conditions were simulated using a lead apron instead of a patient. According to each mode, one experimenter radiographed the lead apron, which was on the table, consecutively 5 times on the AP views. We regarded this as one set and a total of 10 sets were done according to each mode. Cumulative exposure time, RADs, peak X-ray energy, and current, which were viewed on the monitor, were recorded.
Pulsed, low-dose, and pulsed + low-dose modes showed significantly decreased RADs by 32%, 57%, and 83% compared to the conventional mode. The mean cumulative exposure time was significantly lower in the pulsed and pulsed + low-dose modes than in the conventional mode. All modes had pretty much the same peak X-ray energy. The mean current was significantly lower in the low-dose and pulsed + low-dose modes than in the conventional mode.
The use of the pulsed and low-dose modes together significantly reduced the RADs compared to the conventional mode. Therefore, the proper use of the fluoroscopy and its C-arm modes will reduce the radiation exposure of patients and clinicians.
fluoroscopy; radiation; radiation dosage; radiographic image enhancement
Introduction. Closed reduction is a critical component of the intramedullary nailing and at times can be difficult and technically challenging resulting in increased operative time. Fluoroscopy is used extensively to achieve closed reduction which increases the intra-operative radiation exposure.
Materials and Methods. Sixty patients with femoral diaphyseal fractures treated by locked intramedullary nailing were randomized in two groups. In group I, fracture reduction was performed under fluoroscopy with a cannulated reamer in the proximal fragment or with simultaneous use of a cannulated reamer in the proximal fragment and a Schanz screw in the distal fragment. Patients in group II had fracture reduction under fluoroscopy alone.
Results. Closed reduction was achieved in 29 patients in group I and 25 patients in group II. The guide wire insertion time, time for nail insertion and its distal locking, total operative time, and total fluoroscopic time were 26.57, 27.93, 68.03, and 0.19 minutes in group I, compared with 30.87, 27.83, 69.93, and 0.24 minutes in group II, respectively. The average number of images taken to achieve guide wire insertion, for nail insertion and its locking and for the complete procedure in group I, respectively, was 12.33, 25.27, and 37.6 compared with 22.1, 26.17, and 48.27, respectively, in group II.
Conclusion. The use of cannulated reamer in proximal fragment as intramedullary joystick and Schanz screw and in the distal fragment as percutaneous joystick facilitates closed reduction of the fracture during closed intramedullary femoral nailing with statistically significant reduction in guide wire insertion time and radiation exposure.
Precise tunnel positioning is crucial for success in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The use of intra-operative fluoroscopy has been shown to improve the accuracy of tunnel placement. Although radiation exposure is a concern, we lack information on the radiation risk to patients undergoing fluoroscopically-assisted ACL reconstruction with a standard C-arm. The aim of our study was to determine the mean radiation doses received by our patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Radiation doses were recorded for 18 months between 1 April 2007 and 30 September 2008 for 58 consecutive patients undergoing ACL reconstruction assisted by intra-operative fluoroscopy. Dose area product (DAP) values were used to calculate the entrance skin dose (ESD), an indicator of potential skin damage and the effective dose (ED), an indicator of long-term cancer risk, for each patient.
The median age of 58 patients included in data analysis was 28 years (range, 14–52 years), of whom 44 were male (76%). The mean ESD during intra-operative fluoroscopy was 0.0015 ± 0.0029 Gy. The mean ED was 0.001 ± 0.002 mSv. No results exceeded the threshold of 2 Gy for skin damage, and the life-time risk of developing new cancer due to intra-operative fluoroscopy is less than 0.0001%.
Radiation doses administered during fluoroscopically-assisted ACL reconstruction were safe and do not represent a contra-indication to the procedure.
Anterior cruciate ligament; Reconstruction; Intra-operative fluoroscopy; Radiation dose; Radiation risk
Background Intramedullary nailing under fluoroscopic guidance is a common operation. We studied the intraoperative radiation dose received by both the patient and the personnel.
Patients and methods 25 intramedullary nailing procedures of the tibia were studied. All patients suffered from tibial fractures and were treated using the Grosse-Kempf intramedullary nail, with free-hand technique for fixation of the distal screws, under fluoroscopic guidance. The exposure, at selected positions, was recorded using an ion chamber, while the dose area product (DAP) was measured with a DAP meter, attached to the tube head. Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) were used to derive the occupational dose to the personnel, and also to monitor the surface dose on the gonads of some of the patients.
Results The mean operation time was 101 (48–240) min, with a mean fluoroscopic time of 72 seconds and a mean DAP value of 75 cGy·cm2. The surface dose to the gonads of the patients was less than 8.8 mGy during any procedure, and thus cannot be considered to be a contraindication for the use of this technique. Occupational dose differed substantially between members of the operating personnel, the maximum dose recorded being to the operator of the fluoroscopic equipment (0.11 mSv).
Interpretation Our findings underscore the care required by the primary operator not to exceed the dose constraint of 10 mSv per year. The rest of the operating personnel, although they do not receive very high doses, should focus on the dose optimization of the technique.
Background: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) relies on the use of ionising radiation but risks to operator and patient associated with radiation exposure are unclear. The aim of this prospective study was to estimate the radiation dose received by personnel performing fluoroscopic endoscopic procedures, mainly ERCP.
Methods: Consecutive procedures over a two month period were included. The use of thermoluminescent dosimeters to measure radiation exposure to the abdomen, thyroid gland, and hands of the operator permitted an estimation of the annual whole body effective dose equivalent.
Results: During the study period 66 procedures (61 ERCP) were performed and the estimated annual whole body effective dose equivalent received by consultant operators ranged between 3.35 and 5.87 mSv. These values are similar to those received by patients undergoing barium studies and equate to an estimated additional lifetime fatal cancer risk between 1 in 7000 and 1 in 3500. While within legal safety limits for radiation exposure to personnel, these doses are higher than values deemed acceptable for the general public.
Conclusions: It is suggested that personnel as well as patients may be exposed to significant values of radiation during ERCP. The study emphasises the need to carefully assess the indication for, and to use measures that minimise radiation exposure during any fluoroscopic procedure.
Insertion of percutaneous iliosacral screws with fluoroscopic guidance is associated with a relatively high screw malposition rate and long radiation exposure. We asked whether radiation exposure was reduced and screw position improved in patients having percutaneous iliosacral screw insertion using computer-assisted navigation compared with patients having conventional fluoroscopic screw placement. We inserted 26 screws in 24 patients using the navigation system and 35 screws in 32 patients using the conventional fluoroscopic technique. Two subgroups were analyzed, one in which only one iliosacral screw was placed and another with additional use of an external fixator. We determined screw positions by computed tomography and compared operation time, radiation exposure, and screw position. We observed no difference in operative times. Radiation exposure was reduced for the patients and operating room personnel with computer assistance. The postoperative computed tomography scan showed better screw position and fewer malpositioned screws in the three-dimensional navigated groups. Computer navigation reduced malposition rate and radiation exposure.
Level of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
The concepts of radiation protection in survival operations are explained, and procedures devised to control radiation hazards for the protection of the population and maintenance of the operating efficiency of survival operations personnel are presented.
Radiation protection is a command function. The medical responsibility is to provide advice on the probable effects of radiation exposure in the light of existing knowledge of these effects in man.
The major hazard is that of external exposure to penetrating gamma radiation. Radiation exposure guides indicate that persons may be exposed to not more than 100 r whole body radiation in a six-week period, or 200 r whole body radiation in a period in excess of six weeks, without loss of operational efficiency. Beta radiation from fallout deposited on skin or clothing may produce burns, but these injuries will not be incapacitating and can be controlled by simple procedures.
The internal hazard is mainly from ingestion of food or water contaminated with radioactive material. For protection, only canned or packaged foods and water from covered or deep wells are consumed during the early days after a nuclear attack.
The growing use of interventional and fluoroscopic imaging in children represents a tremendous benefit for the diagnosis and treatment of benign conditions. Along with the increasing use and complexity of these procedures comes concern about the cancer risk associated with ionizing radiation exposure to children. Children are considerably more sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of ionizing radiation than adults, and children have a longer life expectancy in which to express risk. Numerous epidemiologic cohort studies of childhood exposure to radiation for treatment of benign diseases have demonstrated radiation-related risks of cancer of the thyroid, breast, brain and skin, as well as leukemia. Many fewer studies have evaluated cancer risk following diagnostic radiation exposure in children. Although radiation dose for a single procedure might be low, pediatric patients often receive repeated examinations over time to evaluate their conditions, which could result in relatively high cumulative doses. Several cohort studies of girls and young women subjected to multiple diagnostic radiation exposures have been informative about increased mortality from breast cancer with increasing radiation dose, and case-control studies of childhood leukemia and postnatal diagnostic radiation exposure have suggested increased risks with an increasing number of examinations. Only two long-term follow-up studies of cancer following cardiac catheterization in childhood have been conducted, and neither reported an overall increased risk of cancer. Most cancers can be induced by radiation, and a linear dose-response has been noted for most solid cancers. Risks of radiation-related cancer are greatest for those exposed early in life, and these risks appear to persist throughout life.
Radiation risks; Carcinogenesis; Diagnostic radiation; Therapeutic radiation
The increasing use of fluoroscopy-based surgical procedures and the associated exposure to radiation raise questions regarding potential risks for patients and operating room personnel. Computer-assisted technologies can help to reduce the emission of radiation; the effect on the patient’s dose for the three-dimensional (3-D)-based technologies has not yet been evaluated.
We determined the effective and organ dose in dorsal spinal fusion and percutaneous transsacral screw stabilization during conventional fluoroscopy-assisted and computer-navigated procedures.
Patients and Methods
We recorded the dose and duration of radiation from fluoroscopy in 20 patients, with single vertebra fractures of the lumbar spine, who underwent posterior stabilization with and without the use of a navigation system and 20 patients with navigated percutaneous transsacral screw stabilization for sacroiliac joint injuries. For the conventional iliosacral joint operations, the duration of radiation was estimated retrospectively in two cases and further determined from the literature. Dose measurements were performed with a male phantom; the phantom was equipped with thermoluminescence dosimeters.
The effective dose in conventional spine surgery using 2-D fluoroscopy was more than 12-fold greater than in navigated operations. For the sacroiliac joint, the effective dose was nearly fivefold greater for nonnavigated operations.
Compared with conventional fluoroscopy, the patient’s effective dose can be reduced by 3-D computer-assisted spinal and pelvic surgery.
Level of Evidence
Level II, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Over the years, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of fluoroscopy in orthopaedics. The risk of contracting cancer is significantly higher for an orthopedic surgeon. Hip and spine surgeries account for 99% of the total radiation dose. The amount of radiation to patients and operating surgeon depends on the position of the patient and the type of protection used during the surgery. A retrospective study to assess the influence of the radiation exposure of the operating surgeon during fluoroscopically assisted fixation of fractures of neck of femur (dynamic hip screw) and ankle (Weber B) was performed at a district general hospital in the United Kingdom.
Materials and Methods:
Sixty patients with undisplaced intertrochanteric fracture were included in the hip group, and 60 patients with isolated fracture of lateral malleolus without communition were included in the ankle group. The hip and ankle groups were further divided into subgroups of 20 patients each depending on the operative experience of the operating surgeon. All patients had fluoroscopically assisted fixation of fracture by the same approach and technique. The radiation dose and screening time of each group were recorded and analyzed.
The radiation dose and screening time during fluoroscopically assisted fixation of fracture neck of femur were significantly high with surgeons and trainees with less than 3 years of surgical experience in comparison with surgeons with more than 10 years of experience. The radiation dose and screening time during fluoroscopically assisted fixation of Weber B fracture of ankle were relatively independent of operating surgeon's surgical experience.
The experience of operating surgeon is one of the important factors affecting screening time and radiation dose during fluoroscopically assisted fixation of fracture neck of femur. The use of snapshot pulsed fluoroscopy and involvement of senior surgeons could significantly reduce the radiation dose and screening time.
Experience; fixation; fracture; radiation; surgeon
The transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedure for decompression of the portal venous system generally performed under fluoroscopic guidance has undergone continuous technical modifications recently. Due to the length of the procedure, the fluoroscopy times are reasonably high, thus increasing the risk from ionizing radiation. Radiation doses were measured for 19 patients using dose area product (DAP) meter. The average DAP value for the TIPS procedure was 63.86 Gy cm2 (21.12-117.07). Radiation doses to patients can be reduced with the use of USG guidance and intermittent fluoroscopy screening.
Radiation dose; TIPS; ultrasound
Radiation exposure to physicians’ hands during interventional procedures with computed tomography (CT) fluoroscopic guidance may be high. A robot was developed that could hold, orient, and advance a needle, with CT fluoroscopic guidance. This robot could be either computer or joystick controlled. Twenty-three robotically guided percutaneous interventions were performed without complication. Physician radiation exposure was negligible during the CT fluoroscopy–guided procedures.
Computed tomography (CT), guidance, 70.12119; Computed tomography (CT), radiation exposure, 70.12119; Fluoroscopy, technology; Phantoms; Radiations, exposure to patients and personnel, 70.12119; Radiations, measurement, 70.12119
With the exponential increase in minimally invasive fluoroscopically guided interventional radiologic procedures, concern has increased about the health effects on staff and patients of radiation exposure from these procedures. There has been no systematic epidemiologic investigation to quantify serious disease risks or mortality. To quantify all-cause, circulatory system disease and cancer mortality risks in U.S. radiologic technologists who work with interventional radiographic procedures, we evaluated mortality risks in a nationwide cohort of 88,766 U.S. radiologic technologists (77% female) who completed a self-administered questionnaire during 1994–998 and were followed through 31 December 2003. We obtained information on work experience, types of procedures (including fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures), and protective measures plus medical, family cancer history, lifestyle, and reproductive information. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to compute relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Between completion of the questionnaire and the end of follow-up, there were 3,581 deaths, including 1,209 from malignancies and 979 from circulatory system diseases. Compared to radiologic technologists who never or rarely performed or assisted with fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures, all-cause mortality risks were not increased among those working on such procedures daily. Similarly, there was no increased risk of mortality resulting from all circulatory system diseases combined, all cancers combined, or female breast cancer among technologists who daily performed or assisted with fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures. Based on small numbers of deaths (n=151), there were non-significant excesses (40%–0%) in mortality from cerebrovascular disease among technologists ever working with these procedures. The absence of significantly elevated mortality risks in radiologic technologists reporting the highest frequency of interventional radiography procedures must be interpreted cautiously in light of the small number of deaths during the relatively short follow-up. The present study cannot rule out increased risks of cerebrovascular disease, specific cancers, and diseases with low case-fatality rates or a long latency period preceding death.
Radiologic technologists; Interventional radiography; Occupational radiation exposure; Mortality