A tracking system has been developed to provide real-time feedback of skin dose and dose rate during interventional fluoroscopic procedures. The dose tracking system (DTS) calculates the radiation dose rate to the patient’s skin using the exposure technique parameters and exposure geometry obtained from the x-ray imaging system digital network (Toshiba Infinix) and presents the cumulative results in a color mapping on a 3D graphic of the patient. We performed a number of tests to verify the accuracy of the dose representation of this system. These tests included comparison of system–calculated dose-rate values with ionization-chamber (6 cc PTW) measured values with change in kVp, beam filter, field size, source-to-skin distance and beam angulation. To simulate a cardiac catheterization procedure, the ionization chamber was also placed at various positions on an Alderson Rando torso phantom and the dose agreement compared for a range of projection angles with the heart at isocenter. To assess the accuracy of the dose distribution representation, Gafchromic film (XR-RV3, ISP) was exposed with the beam at different locations. The DTS and film distributions were compared and excellent visual agreement was obtained within the cm-sized surface elements used for the patient graphic. The dose (rate) values agreed within about 10% for the range of variables tested. Correction factors could be applied to obtain even closer agreement since the variable values are known in real-time. The DTS provides skin-dose values and dose mapping with sufficient accuracy for use in monitoring diagnostic and interventional x-ray procedures.
skin dose; dosimetry; radiation safety; cardiac fluoroscopic procedures; fluoroscopic dose; dose tracking; real-time dosimetry; fluoroscopic interventional procedures
Interventional and fluoroscopic imaging procedures for pediatric patients are becoming more prevalent because of the less-invasive nature of these procedures compared to alternatives such as surgery. Flat-panel X-ray detectors (FPD) for fluoroscopy are a new technology alternative to the image intensifier/TV (II/TV) digital system that has been in use for more than two decades. Two major FPD technologies have been implemented, based on indirect conversion of X-rays to light (using an X-ray scintillator) and then to proportional charge (using a photodiode), or direct conversion of X-rays into charge (using a semiconductor material) for signal acquisition and digitization. These detectors have proved very successful for high-exposure interventional procedures but lack the image quality of the II/TV system at the lowest exposure levels common in fluoroscopy. The benefits for FPD image quality include lack of geometric distortion, little or no veiling glare, a uniform response across the field-of-view, and improved ergonomics with better patient access. Better detective quantum efficiency indicates the possibility of reducing the patient dose in accordance with ALARA principles. However, first-generation FPD devices have been implemented with less than adequate acquisition flexibility (e.g., lack of tableside controls/information, inability to easily change protocols) and the presence of residual signals from previous exposures, and additional cost of equipment and long-term maintenance have been serious impediments to purchase and implementation. Technological advances of second generation and future hybrid FPD systems should solve many current issues. The answer to the question ‘how much better are they?–is ‘significantly better– and they are certainly worth consideration for replacement or new implementation of an imaging suite for pediatric fluoroscopy.
Flat-panel detectors; Fluoroscopy; Interventional radiology
X-ray fluoroscopy is widely used for image guidance during cardiac intervention. However, radiation dose in these procedures can be high, and this is a significant concern, particularly in pediatric applications. Pediatrics procedures are in general much more complex than those performed on adults and thus are on average four to eight times longer1. Furthermore, children can undergo up to 10 fluoroscopic procedures by the age of 10, and have been shown to have a three-fold higher risk of developing fatal cancer throughout their life than the general population2,3.
We have shown that radiation dose can be significantly reduced in adult cardiac procedures by using our scanning beam digital x-ray (SBDX) system4-- a fluoroscopic imaging system that employs an inverse imaging geometry5,6 (Figure 1, Movie 1 and Figure 2). Instead of a single focal spot and an extended detector as used in conventional systems, our approach utilizes an extended X-ray source with multiple focal spots focused on a small detector. Our X-ray source consists of a scanning electron beam sequentially illuminating up to 9,000 focal spot positions. Each focal spot projects a small portion of the imaging volume onto the detector. In contrast to a conventional system where the final image is directly projected onto the detector, the SBDX uses a dedicated algorithm to reconstruct the final image from the 9,000 detector images.
For pediatric applications, dose savings with the SBDX system are expected to be smaller than in adult procedures. However, the SBDX system allows for additional dose savings by implementing an electronic adaptive exposure technique. Key to this method is the multi-beam scanning technique of the SBDX system: rather than exposing every part of the image with the same radiation dose, we can dynamically vary the exposure depending on the opacity of the region exposed. Therefore, we can significantly reduce exposure in radiolucent areas and maintain exposure in more opaque regions. In our current implementation, the adaptive exposure requires user interaction (Figure 3). However, in the future, the adaptive exposure will be real time and fully automatic.
We have performed experiments with an anthropomorphic phantom and compared measured radiation dose with and without adaptive exposure using a dose area product (DAP) meter. In the experiment presented here, we find a dose reduction of 30%.
Region-of-interest (ROI) fluoroscopy takes advantage of the fact that most neurovascular interventional activity is performed in only a small portion of an x-ray imaging field of view (FOV). The ROI beam filter is an attenuating material that reduces patient dose in the area peripheral to the object of interest. This project explores a method of moving the beam-attenuator aperture with the object of interest such that it always remains in the ROI. In this study, the ROI attenuator, which reduces the dose by 80% in the peripheral region, is mounted on a linear stage placed near the x-ray tube. Fluoroscopy is performed using the Microangiographic Fluoroscope (MAF) which is a high-resolution, CCD-based x-ray detector. A stainless-steel stent is selected as the object of interest, and is moved across the FOV and localized using an object-detection algorithm available in the IMAQ Vision package of LabVIEW. The ROI is moved to follow the stent motion. The pixel intensities are equalized in both FOV regions and an adaptive temporal filter dependent on the motion of the object of interest is implemented inside the ROI. With a temporal filter weight of 5% for the current image in the peripheral region, the SNR measured is 47.8. The weights inside the ROI vary between 10% and 33% with a measured SNR of 57.9 and 35.3 when the object is stationary and moving, respectively. This method allows patient dose reduction as well as maintenance of superior image quality in the ROI while tracking the object.
Dose reduction; Region-of-interest (ROI) fluoroscopy; object tracking; adaptive temporal filtering
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
To present the experience in patient dose management and the development of an online audit tool for digital radiography.
Materials and methods:
Several tools have been developed to extract the information contained in the DICOM header of digital images, collect radiographic parameters, calculate patient entrance doses and other related parameters, and audit image quality.
The tool has been used for mammography, and includes images from over 25,000 patients, over 75,000 chest images, 100,000 computed radiography procedures and more than 1,000 interventional radiology procedures. Examples of calculation of skin dose distribution in interventional cardiology based upon information of DICOM header and the results of dosimetric parameters for cardiology procedures in 2006 are presented.
Digital radiology has great advantages for imaging and patient dose management. Dose reports, QCONLINE systems and the MPPS DICOM service are good tools to optimise procedures and to manage patient dosimetry data. The implementation of the ongoing IEC-DICOM standard for patient dose structured reports will improve dose management in digital radiology.
Digital radiography; patient dose; DICOM header audit; quality assurance
High-radiation exposure occurs during computed tomographic (CT) fluoroscopy. Patient and operator doses during thoracic and abdominal interventional procedures were studied in the present experiment, and a novel shielding device to reduce exposure to the patient and operator was evaluated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
With a 16-slice CT scanner in CT fluoroscopy mode (120 kVp, 30 mA), surface dosimetry was performed on adult and pediatric phantoms. The shielding was composed of tungsten antimony in the form of a lightweight polymer sheet. Doses to the patient were measured with and without shielding for thoracic and abdominal procedures. Doses to the operator were recorded with and without phantom, gantry, and table shielding in place. Double-layer lead-free gloves were used by the operator during the procedures.
Tungsten antimony shielding adjacent to the scan plane resulted in a maximum dose reduction of 92.3% to the patient. Maximum 85.6%, 93.3%, and 85.1% dose reductions were observed for the operator’s torso, gonads, and hands, respectively. The use of double-layer lead-free gloves resulted in a maximum radiation dose reduction of 97%.
Methods to reduce exposure during CT fluoroscopy are effective and should be searched for. Significant reduction in radiation doses to the patient and operator can be accomplished with tungsten antimony shielding.
The author measured levels of fluoroscopic radiation exposure to the surgeon's body based on the different beam directions during kyphoplasty.
This is an observational study. A series of 84 patients (96 vertebral bodies) were treated with kyphoplasty over one year. The patients were divided into four groups based on the horizontal and vertical directions of the X-Ray beams. We measured radiation exposure with the seven dosimetry badges which were worn by the surgeon in each group (total of 28 badges). Twenty-four procedures were measured in each group. Cumulative dose and dose rates were compared between groups.
Fluoroscopic radiation is received by the operator in real-time for approximately 50% (half) of the operation time. Thyroid protectors and lead aprons can block radiation almost completely. The largest dose was received in the chest irrespective of beam directions. The lowest level of radiation were received when X-ray tube was away from the surgeon and beneath the bed (dose rate of head, neck, chest, abdomen and knee : 0.2986, 0.2828, 0.9711, 0.8977, 0.8168 mSv, respectively). The radiation differences between each group were approximately 2.7-10 folds.
When fluoroscopic guided-KP is performed, the X-Ray tube should be positioned on the opposite side of the operator and below the table, otherwise the received radiation to the surgeon's body would be 2.7-10 times higher than such condition.
Kyphoplasty; Radiation exposure; Fluoroscopic guidance; Dosimetry; Radiation safety; Fluoroscopy
During image guided interventional procedures, superior resolution and image quality is critically important. Operating the MAF in the new High Definition (HD) fluoroscopy mode provides high resolution and increased contrast-to-noise ratio. The MAF has a CCD camera and a 300 micron cesium iodide x-ray convertor phosphor coupled to a light image intensifier (LII) through a fiber-optic taper. The MAF captures 1024 × 1024 pixels with an effective pixel size of 35 microns, and is capable of real-time imaging at 30 fps. The HD mode uses the advantages of higher exposure along with a small focal spot effectively improving the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and the spatial resolution. The Control Acquisition Processing and Image Display System (CAPIDS) software for the MAF controls the LII gain. The interventionalist can select either fluoroscopic or angiographic modes using the two standard foot pedals. When improved image quality is needed and the angiography footpedal is used for HD mode, the x-ray machine will operate at a preset higher exposure rate using a small focal spot, while the CAPIDS will automatically adjust the LII gain to achieve proper image brightness. HD mode fluoroscopy and roadmapping are thus achieved conveniently during the interventional procedure. For CNR and resolution evaluation we used a bar phantom with images taken in HD mode with both the MAF and a Flat Panel Detector (FPD). It was seen that the FPD could not resolve more than 2.8 lp/mm whereas the MAF could resolve more than 5 lp/mm. The CNR of the MAF was better than that of the FPD by 60% at lower frequencies and by 600% at the Nyquist frequency of the FPD. The HD mode has become the preferred mode during animal model interventions because it enables detailed features of endovascular devices such as stent struts to be visualized clearly for the first time. Clinical testing of the MAF in HD mode is imminent.
Fluoroscopic systems have excellent temporal resolution, but are relatively noisy. In this paper we present a recursive temporal filter with different weights (lag) for different user selected regions of interest (ROI) to assist the neurointerventionalist during an image guided catheter procedure. The filter has been implemented on a Graphics Processor (GPU), enabling its usage for fast frame rates such as during fluoroscopy.
We first demonstrate the use of this GPU-implemented rapid temporal filtering technique during an endovascular image guided intervention with normal fluoroscopy. Next we demonstrate its use in combination with ROI fluoroscopy where the exposure is substantially reduced in the peripheral region outside the ROI, which is then software-matched in brightness and filtered using the differential temporal filter. This enables patient dose savings along with improved image quality.
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
The U.S. National Press has brought to full public discussion concerns regarding the use of medical radiation, specifically x-ray computed tomography (CT), in diagnosis. A need exists for developing methods whereby assurance is given that all diagnostic medical radiation use is properly prescribed, and all patients’ radiation exposure is monitored. The “DICOM Index Tracker©” (DIT) transparently captures desired digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) tags from CT, nuclear imaging equipment, and other DICOM devices across an enterprise. Its initial use is recording, monitoring, and providing automatic alerts to medical professionals of excursions beyond internally determined trigger action levels of radiation. A flexible knowledge base, aware of equipment in use, enables automatic alerts to system administrators of newly identified equipment models or software versions so that DIT can be adapted to the new equipment or software. A dosimetry module accepts mammography breast organ dose, skin air kerma values from XA modalities, exposure indices from computed radiography, etc. upon receipt. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine recommended a methodology for effective dose calculations which are performed with CT units having DICOM structured dose reports. Web interface reporting is provided for accessing the database in real-time. DIT is DICOM-compliant and, thus, is standardized for international comparisons. Automatic alerts currently in use include: email, cell phone text message, and internal pager text messaging. This system extends the utility of DICOM for standardizing the capturing and computing of radiation dose as well as other quality measures.
Data extraction; medical informatics applications; radiation dose; database management systems; knowledge base
An integrated software package, Compartment Model Kinetic Analysis Tool (COMKAT), is presented in this report.
COMKAT is an open-source software package with many functions for incorporating pharmacokinetic analysis in molecular imaging research and has both command-line and graphical user interfaces.
With COMKAT, users may load and display images, draw regions of interest, load input functions, select kinetic models from a predefined list, or create a novel model and perform parameter estimation, all without having to write any computer code. For image analysis, COMKAT image tool supports multiple image file formats, including the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard. Image contrast, zoom, reslicing, display color table, and frame summation can be adjusted in COMKAT image tool. It also displays and automatically registers images from 2 modalities. Parametric imaging capability is provided and can be combined with the distributed computing support to enhance computation speeds. For users without MATLAB licenses, a compiled, executable version of COMKAT is available, although it currently has only a subset of the full COMKAT capability. Both the compiled and the noncompiled versions of COMKAT are free for academic research use. Extensive documentation, examples, and COMKAT itself are available on its wiki-based Web site, http://comkat.case.edu. Users are encouraged to contribute, sharing their experience, examples, and extensions of COMKAT.
With integrated functionality specifically designed for imaging and kinetic modeling analysis, COMKAT can be used as a software environment for molecular imaging and pharmacokinetic analysis.
kinetic modeling; imaging software; pharmacokinetics; COMKAT
Intracranial aneurysm (IA) embolization using Gugliemi Detachable Coils (GDC) under x-ray fluoroscopic guidance is one of the most important neuro-vascular interventions. Coil deposition accuracy is key and could benefit substantially from higher resolution imagers such as the micro-angiographic fluoroscope (MAF). The effect of MAF guidance improvement over the use of standard Flat Panels (FP) is challenging to assess for such a complex procedure. We propose and investigate a new metric, inter-frame cross-correlation sensitivity (CCS), to compare detector performance for such procedures. Pixel (P) and histogram (H) CCS’s were calculated as one minus the cross-correlation coefficients between pixel values and histograms for the region of interest at successive procedure steps. IA treatment using GDC’s was simulated using an anthropomorphic head phantom which includes an aneurysm. GDC’s were deposited in steps of 3 cm and the procedure was imaged with a FP and the MAF. To measure sensitivity to detect progress of the procedure by change in images of successive steps, an ROI was selected over the aneurysm location and pixel-value and histogram changes were calculated after each step. For the FP, after 4 steps, the H and P CCSs between successive steps were practically zero, indicating that there were no significant changes in the observed images. For the MAF, H and P CCSs were greater than zero even after 10 steps (30 cm GDC), indicating observable changes. Further, the proposed quantification method was applied for evaluation of seven patients imaged using the MAF, yielding similar results (H and P CCSs greater than zero after the last GDC deposition). The proposed metric indicates that the MAF can offer better guidance during such procedures.
Intracranial aneurysms; microangiographic fluoroscope; MAF; coil embolization; cross-correlation sensitivity
In this article, we present GE Healthcare’s design philosophy and implementation of X-ray imaging systems with dose management for pediatric patients, as embodied in its current radiography and fluoroscopy and interventional cardiovascular X-ray product offerings. First, we present a basic framework of image quality and dose in the context of a cost–benefit trade-off, with the development of the concept of imaging dose efficiency. A set of key metrics of image quality and dose efficiency is presented, including X-ray source efficiency, detector quantum efficiency (DQE), detector dynamic range, and temporal response, with an explanation of the clinical relevance of each. Second, we present design methods for automatically selecting optimal X-ray technique parameters (kVp, mA, pulse width, and spectral filtration) in real time for various clinical applications. These methods are based on an optimization scheme where patient skin dose is minimized for a target desired image contrast-to-noise ratio. Operator display of skin dose and Dose-Area Product (DAP) is covered, as well. Third, system controls and predefined protocols available to the operator are explained in the context of dose management and the need to meet varying clinical procedure imaging demands. For example, fluoroscopic dose rate is adjustable over a range of 20:1 to adapt to different procedure requirements. Fourth, we discuss the impact of image processing techniques upon dose minimization. In particular, two such techniques, dynamic range compression through adaptive multiband spectral filtering and fluoroscopic noise reduction, are explored in some detail. Fifth, we review a list of system dose-reduction features, including automatic spectral filtration, virtual collimation, variable-rate pulsed fluoroscopic, grid and no-grid techniques, and fluoroscopic loop replay with store. In addition, we describe a new feature that automatically minimizes the patient-to-detector distance, along with an estimate of its dose reduction potential. Finally, two recently developed imaging techniques and their potential effect on dose utilization are discussed. Specifically, we discuss the dose benefits of rotational angiography and low frame rate imaging with advanced image processing in lieu of higher-dose digital subtraction.
Pediatric dose management; Fluoroscopic equipment; Technical advances
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is associated with a considerable radiation exposure for patients and staff. While optimization of the radiation dose is recommended, few studies have been published. The purpose of this study has been to measure patient and staff radiation dose, to estimate the effective dose and radiation risk using digital fluoroscopic images. Entrance skin dose (ESD), organ and effective doses were estimated for patients and staff.
Materials and Methods:
Fifty-seven patients were studied using digital X-ray machine and thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) to measure ESD at different body sites. Organ and surface dose to specific radiosensitive organs was carried out. The mean, median, minimum, third quartile and the maximum values are presented due to the asymmetry in data distribution.
The mean ESD, exit and thyroid surface dose were estimated to be 75.6 mGy, 3.22 mGy and 0.80 mGy, respectively. The mean effective dose for both gastroenterologist and assistant is 0.01 mSv. The mean patient effective dose was 4.16 mSv, and the cancer risk per procedure was estimated to be 2 × 10-5
ERCP with fluoroscopic technique demonstrate improved dose reduction, compared to the conventional radiographic based technique, reducing the surface dose by a factor of 2, without compromising the diagnostic findings. The radiation absorbed doses to the different organs and effective doses are relatively low.
ERCP; radiation risk; staff exposure
The C-arm fluoroscope is an essential tool for the intervention of pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the radiation exposure experienced by the hand and chest of pain physicians during C-arm fluoroscopy-guided procedures.
This is a prospective study about radiation exposure to physicians during transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) and medial branch block (MBB). Four pain physicians were involved in this study. Data about effective dose (ED) at each physician's right hand and left side of the chest, exposure time, radiation absorbed dose (RAD), and the distance from the center of the X-ray field to the physician during X-ray scanning were
Three hundred and fifteen cases were included for this study. Demographic data showed no significant differences among the physicians in the TFESIs and MBBs. In the TFESI group, there was a significant difference between the ED at the hand and chest in all the physicians. In physician A, B and C, the ED at the chest was more than the ED at the hand. The distance from the center of the X-ray field to physician A was more than that of the other physicians, and for the exposure time, the ED and RAD in physician A was less than that of the other physicians. In the MBB group, there was no difference in the ED at the hand and chest, except for physician D. The distance from the center of the X-ray field to physician A was more than that of the other physicians and the exposure time in physician A was less than that of the other physicians.
In conclusion, the distance from the radiation source, position of the hand, experience and technique can correlate with the radiation dose.
distance; exposure time; radiation dose; radiation protection
Kyphoplasty (KP) is a minimally invasive technique for the percutaneous stabilisation of vertebral fractures. As such, this technique is highly dependent upon intraoperative fluoroscopic visualisation. In order to assess the range of radiation doses that patients are typically subjected to, 60 consecutive procedures using simultaneous bilateral fluoroscopy were analysed with respect to exposure time (ET). In a subset of 16 of these patients, a theoretical entrance skin dose (ESD) and effective dose was additionally calculated from intraoperatively measured dose area product. Average fluoroscopy time for single level cases reached 2.2 min (range 0.6–4.3) in the lateral plane and 1.6 min (range 0.5–3.0) in the anterior–posterior plane. For multiple level cases the corresponding ET per level was 1.7 min (range 0.6–2.9) per level in the lateral and 1.1 min (range 0.5–2.0) in the anterior-posterior plane. ESD was estimated as an average 0.32 Gy (range 0.05–0.86) in the anterior–posterior and 0.68 Gy (range 0.10–1.43) in the lateral plane. Effective dose (cumulative from both planes) averaged 4.28 mSv (range 0.47–10.14). Safety margins for the development of early transient erythema are respected within the presented fluoroscopy times. Longer ET in the lateral plane may however breach the 2 Gy threshold. Use of large c-arms and judiciously operating the exposure is recommended. With regard to effective dose, a single fluoroscopy guided KP performed for osteoporotic or traumatic vertebral fractures is a safe procedure.
Kyphoplasty; Patient radiation exposure; Biplanar fluoroscopy; Spine
In order to satisfy the high resolution (3 to 10 cycles/mm) imaging requirements in neurovascular image-guided interventional (IGI) procedures, a micro-angiographic fluoroscope (MAF) is being developed to enable both rapid sequence angiography (15 fps) at high exposure levels (hundreds of μR/frame) as well as fluoroscopy at high frame rates (30 fps) and low exposure levels (5 to 20 μR/frame). The prototype MAF consists of a 350-μm-thick CsI(Tl) scintillator coupled by a 2:1 fiber-optical taper to an 18 mm diameter variable-gain light image intensifier with two-stage microchannel plate (MCP) viewed by a 12-bit, 1024x1024, 30 fps CCD camera with digital interface board. The optical set-up enables variation of effective pixel-size from 31 to 50 micron. The first frame lag of the MAF in fluoroscopic 30 fps mode (2:1 binning) was less than 0.8% at exposures of 5-23 μR/frame. MTF, NPS, and DQE in angiographic mode were measured for IEC standard spectrum RQA 5. At spatial frequencies of 4 and 10 cycles/mm the MTF was 14% and 1.5%, and the DQE was 12% and 1.2%, respectively, while the DQE(0) was 60%. Acquisition software was developed to acquire 15 fps angiography and 30 fps fluoroscopy for real-time dark field and flat field correction or real-time roadmapping. Images obtained with the MAF in small animal IGI procedures are demonstrated. The linearity versus x-ray intensity and MCP working range effects has been studied. We plan to expand the current 3.6 cm diameter field of view to 6 cm in the next model of the MAF.
x-ray detector; fluoroscopy; angiography; image-guided intervention; MTF; DQE; region-of-interest radiography; micro-angiography; MCP; linearity
Cardiac angiography produces one of the highest radiation exposures of any commonly used diagnostic x ray procedure. Recently, serious radiation induced skin injuries have been reported after repeated therapeutic interventional procedures using prolonged fluoroscopic imaging. Two male patients, aged 62 and 71 years, in whom chronic radiodermatitis developed one to two years after two consecutive cardiac catheterisation procedures are reported. Both patients had undergone lengthy procedures using prolonged fluoroscopic guidance in a limited number of projections. The resulting skin lesions were preceded, in one case, by an acute erythema and took the form of a delayed pigmented telangiectatic, indurated, or ulcerated plaque in the upper back or below the axilla whose site corresponded to the location of the x ray tube during cardiac catheterisation. Cutaneous side effects of radiation exposure result from direct damage to the irradiated tissue and have known thresholds. The diagnosis of radiation induced skin injury relies essentially on clinical and histopathological findings, location of skin lesions, and careful medical history. Interventional cardiologists should be aware of this complication, because chronic radiodermatitis may result in painful and resistant ulceration and eventually in squamous cell carcinoma.
Keywords: catheterisation; angiography; radiation; radiodermatitis; skin injury
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
During the last 15 years, developments in X-ray technologies have substantially improved the ability of practitioners to treat patients using fluoroscopically guided interventional techniques. Many of these procedures require a greater use of fluoroscopy and more recording of images. This increases the potential for radiation-induced dermatitis and epilation, as well as severe radiation-induced burns to patients. Many fluoroscope operators are untrained in radiation management and do not realize that these procedures increase the risk of radiation injury and radiation-induced cancer in personnel as well as patients. The hands of long-time fluoroscope operators in some cases exhibit radiation damage—especially when sound radiation protection practices have not been followed. In response, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the United States Food and Drug Administration has issued an Advisory calling for proper training of operators. Hospitals and administrators need to support and enforce the need for this training by requiring documentation of credentials in radiation management as a prerequisite for obtaining fluoroscopy privileges. A concerted effort on the part of professional medical organizations and regulatory agencies will be required to train fluoroscopy users to prevent physicians from unwittingly imparting serious radiation injuries to their patients.
Credentialing fluoroscopist; Fluoroscopist radiation dose
Interventional cardiology procedures result in substantial patient radiation doses due to prolonged fluoroscopy time and radiographic exposure. The procedures that are most frequently performed are coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary interventions, diagnostic electrophysiology studies and radiofrequency catheter ablation. Patient radiation dose in these procedures can be assessed either by measurements on a series of patients in real clinical practice or measurements using patient-equivalent phantoms. In this article we review the derived doses at non-pediatric patients from 72 relevant studies published during the last 22 years in international scientific literature. Published results indicate that patient radiation doses vary widely among the different interventional cardiology procedures but also among equivalent studies. Discrepancies of the derived results are patient-, procedure-, physician-, and fluoroscopic equipmentrelated. Nevertheless, interventional cardiology procedures can subject patients to considerable radiation doses. Efforts to minimize patient exposure should always be undertaken.
Patient dosimetry; interventional cardiology.
Computed tomography (CT) dosimetry should be adapted to the rapid developments in CT technology. Recently a 160 mm wide, 320 detector row, cone beam CT scanner that challenges the existing Computed Tomography Dose Index (CTDI) dosimetry paradigm was introduced. The purpose of this study was to assess dosimetric characteristics of this cone beam scanner, to study the appropriateness of existing CT dose metrics and to suggest a pragmatic approach for CT dosimetry for cone beam scanners. Dose measurements with a small Farmer-type ionization chamber and with 100 mm and 300 mm long pencil ionization chambers were performed free in air to characterize the cone beam. According to the most common dose metric in CT, namely CTDI, measurements were also performed in 150 mm and 350 mm long CT head and CT body dose phantoms with 100 mm and 300 mm long pencil ionization chambers, respectively. To explore effects that cannot be measured with ionization chambers, Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of the dose distribution in 150 mm, 350 mm and 700 mm long CT head and CT body phantoms were performed. To overcome inconsistencies in the definition of CTDI100 for the 160 mm wide cone beam CT scanner, doses were also expressed as the average absorbed dose within the pencil chamber (D‒100). Measurements free in air revealed excellent correspondence between CTDI300air and D‒100air, while CTDI100air substantially underestimates CTDI300air. Results of measurements in CT dose phantoms and corresponding MC simulations at centre and peripheral positions were weighted and revealed good agreement between CTDI300w, D‒100w and CTDI600w, while CTDI100w substantially underestimates CTDI300w. D‒100w provides a pragmatic metric for characterizing the dose of the 160 mm wide cone beam CT scanner. This quantity can be measured with the widely available 100 mm pencil ionization chamber within 150 mm long CT dose phantoms. CTDI300w measured in 350 mm long CT dose phantoms serves as an appropriate standard of reference for characterizing the dose of this CT scanner. A CT dose descriptor that is based on an integration length smaller than the actual beam width is preferably expressed as an (average) dose, such as D‒100 for the 160 mm wide cone beam CT scanner, and not as CTDI100.
C-arm X-ray fluoroscopy-based radioactive seed localization for intraoperative dosimetry of prostate brachytherapy is an active area of research. The fluoroscopy tracking (FTRAC) fiducial is an image-based tracking device composed of radio-opaque BBs, lines, and ellipses that provides an effective means for pose estimation so that three-dimensional reconstruction of the implanted seeds from multiple X-ray images can be related to the ultrasound-computed prostate volume. Both the FTRAC features and the brachytherapy seeds must be segmented quickly and accurately during the surgery, but current segmentation algorithms are inhibitory in the operating room (OR). The first reason is that current algorithms require operators to manually select a region of interest (ROI), preventing automatic pipelining from image acquisition to seed reconstruction. Secondly, these algorithms fail often, requiring operators to manually correct the errors. We propose a fast and effective ROI-free automatic FTRAC and seed segmentation algorithm to minimize such human intervention. The proposed algorithm exploits recent image processing tools to make seed reconstruction as easy and convenient as possible. Preliminary results on 162 patient images show this algorithm to be fast, effective, and accurate for all features to be segmented. With near perfect success rates and subpixel differences to manual segmentation, our automatic FTRAC and seed segmentation algorithm shows promising results to save crucial time in the OR while reducing errors.
segmentation; localization; C-arm; X-ray; fiducial; prostate brachytherapy