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1.  An Automated DICOM Database Capable of Arbitrary Data Mining (Including Radiation Dose Indicators) for Quality Monitoring 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2010;24(2):223-233.
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.
PMCID: PMC3056966  PMID: 20824303
Data extraction; medical informatics applications; radiation dose; database management systems; knowledge base
Health physics  2011;101(1):13-27.
While radiation absorbed dose (Gy) to the skin or other organs is sometimes estimated for patients from diagnostic radiologic examinations or therapeutic procedures, rarely is occupationally-received radiation absorbed dose to individual organs/tissues estimated for medical personnel, e.g., radiologic technologists or radiologists. Generally, for medical personnel, equivalent or effective radiation doses are estimated for compliance purposes. In the very few cases when organ doses to medical personnel are reconstructed, the data is usually for the purpose of epidemiologic studies, e.g., a study of historical doses and risks to a cohort of about 110,000 radiologic technologists presently underway at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. While ICRP and ICRU have published organ-specific external dose conversion coefficients (DCCs), i.e., absorbed dose to organs and tissues per unit air kerma and dose equivalent per unit air kerma, those factors have been primarily published for mono-energetic photons at selected energies. This presents two related problems for historical dose reconstruction, both of which are addressed here. It is necessary to derive conversion factors values for (i) continuous distributions of energy typical of diagnostic medical x rays (bremsstrahlung radiation), and (ii) for energies of particular radioisotopes used in medical procedures, neither of which are presented in published tables. For derivation of DCCs for bremsstrahlung radiation, combinations of x-ray tube potentials and filtrations were derived for different time periods based on a review of relevant literature. Three peak tube potentials (70 kV, 80 kV, and 90 kV) with four different amounts of beam filtration were determined to be applicable for historic dose reconstruction. The probability of these machine settings were assigned to each of the four time periods (earlier than 1949, 1949-1954, 1955-1968, and after 1968). Continuous functions were fit to each set of discrete values of the ICRP/ICRU mono-energetic DCCs and the functions integrated over the air-kerma weighted photon fluence of the 12 defined x-ray spectra. The air kerma-weighted DCCs in this work were developed specifically for an irradiation geometry of anterior to posterior (AP) and for the following tissues: thyroid, breast, ovary, lens of eye, lung, colon, testes, heart, skin (anterior side only), red bone marrow (RBM), heart, and brain. In addition, a series of functional relationships to predict DT per Ka values for RBM dependent on body mass index [BMI (kg m−2) ≡ weight per height2] and average photon energy were derived from a published analysis. Factors to account for attenuation of radiation by protective lead aprons were also developed. Because lead protective aprons often worn by radiology personnel not only reduce the intensity of x-ray exposure but also appreciably harden the transmitted fluence of bremsstrahlung x rays, DCCs were separately calculated for organs possibly protected by lead aprons by considering three cases: no apron, 0.25 mm Pb apron, and 0.5 mm Pb apron. For estimation of organ doses from conducting procedures with radioisotopes, continuous functions of the reported mono-energetic values were developed and DCCs were derived by estimation of the function at relevant energies. By considering the temporal changes in primary exposure-related parameters, e.g., energy distribution, the derived DCCs and transmission factors presented here allow for more realistic historical dose reconstructions for medical personnel when monitoring badge readings are the primary data on which estimation of an individual's organ doses are based.
PMCID: PMC3964780  PMID: 21617389
3.  Updates in the real-time Dose Tracking System (DTS) to improve the accuracy in calculating the radiation dose to the patients skin during fluoroscopic procedures 
We have developed a dose-tracking system (DTS) to manage the risk of deterministic skin effects to the patient during fluoroscopic image-guided interventional cardiac procedures. The DTS calculates the radiation dose to the patient’s skin in real-time by acquiring exposure parameters and imaging-system geometry from the digital bus on a Toshiba C-arm unit and displays the cumulative dose values as a color map on a 3D graphic of the patient for immediate feedback to the interventionalist. Several recent updates have been made to the software to improve its function and performance. Whereas the older system needed manual input of pulse rate for dose-rate calculation and used the CPU clock with its potential latency to monitor exposure duration, each x-ray pulse is now individually processed to determine the skin-dose increment and to automatically measure the pulse rate. We also added a correction for the table pad which was found to reduce the beam intensity to the patient for under-table projections by an additional 5–12% over that of the table alone at 80 kVp for the x-ray filters on the Toshiba system. Furthermore, mismatch between the DTS graphic and the patient skin can result in inaccuracies in dose calculation because of inaccurate inverse-square-distance calculation. Therefore, a means for quantitative adjustment of the patient-graphic-model position and a parameterized patient-graphic library have been developed to allow the graphic to more closely match the patient. These changes provide more accurate estimation of the skin-dose which is critical for managing patient radiation risk.
PMCID: PMC4013095  PMID: 24817801
Interventional fluoroscopic procedures; dose tracking system; skin dose; fluoroscopy; dose mapping
4.  Automatic Localization of Vertebral Levels in X-Ray Fluoroscopy Using 3D-2D Registration: A Tool to Reduce Wrong-Site Surgery 
Physics in medicine and biology  2012;57(17):5485-5508.
Surgical targeting of the incorrect vertebral level (“wrong-level” surgery) is among the more common wrong-site surgical errors, attributed primarily to a lack of uniquely identifiable radiographic landmarks in the mid-thoracic spine. Conventional localization method involves manual counting of vertebral bodies under fluoroscopy, is prone to human error, and carries additional time and dose. We propose an image registration and visualization system (referred to as LevelCheck), for decision support in spine surgery by automatically labeling vertebral levels in fluoroscopy using a GPU-accelerated, intensity-based 3D-2D (viz., CT-to-fluoroscopy) registration. A gradient information (GI) similarity metric and CMA-ES optimizer were chosen due to their robustness and inherent suitability for parallelization. Simulation studies involved 10 patient CT datasets from which 50,000 simulated fluoroscopic images were generated from C-arm poses selected to approximate C-arm operator and positioning variability. Physical experiments used an anthropomorphic chest phantom imaged under real fluoroscopy. The registration accuracy was evaluated as the mean projection distance (mPD) between the estimated and true center of vertebral levels. Trials were defined as successful if the estimated position was within the projection of the vertebral body (viz., mPD < 5mm). Simulation studies showed a success rate of 99.998% (1 failure in 50,000 trials) and computation time of 4.7 sec on a midrange GPU. Analysis of failure modes identified cases of false local optima in the search space arising from longitudinal periodicity in vertebral structures. Physical experiments demonstrated robustness of the algorithm against quantum noise and x-ray scatter. The ability to automatically localize target anatomy in fluoroscopy in near-real-time could be valuable in reducing the occurrence of wrong-site surgery while helping to reduce radiation exposure. The method is applicable beyond the specific case of vertebral labeling, since any structure defined in pre-operative (or intra-operative) CT or cone-beam CT can be automatically registered to the fluoroscopic scene.
PMCID: PMC3429949  PMID: 22864366
Wrong-site surgery; surgical planning; vertebral level localization; spine surgery; 3D-2D registration; GPU-acceleration; fluoroscopy; cone-beam CT
5.  Pediatric interventional radiography equipment: safety considerations 
Pediatric Radiology  2006;36(Suppl 2):126-135.
This paper discusses pediatric image quality and radiation dose considerations in state-of-the-art fluoroscopic imaging equipment. Although most fluoroscopes are capable of automatically providing good image quality on infants, toddlers, and small children, excessive radiation dose levels can result from design deficiencies of the imaging device or inappropriate configuration of the equipment’s capabilities when imaging small body parts. Important design features and setup choices at installation and during the clinical use of the imaging device can improve image quality and reduce radiation exposure levels in pediatric patients. Pediatric radiologists and cardiologists, with the help of medical physicists, need to understand the issues involved in creating good image quality at reasonable pediatric patient doses. The control of radiographic technique factors by the generator of the imaging device must provide a large dynamic range of mAs values per exposure pulse during both fluoroscopy and image recording as a function of patient girth, which is the thickness of the patient in the posterior–anterior projection at the umbilicus (less than 10 cm to greater than 30 cm). The range of pulse widths must be limited to less than 10 ms in children to properly freeze patient motion. Variable rate pulsed fluoroscopy can be leveraged to reduce radiation dose to the patient and improve image quality. Three focal spots with nominal sizes of 0.3 mm to 1 mm are necessary on the pediatric unit. A second, lateral imaging plane might be necessary because of the child’s limited tolerance of contrast medium. Spectral and spatial beam shaping can improve image quality while reducing the radiation dose. Finally, the level of entrance exposure to the image receptor of the fluoroscope as a function of operator choices, of added filter thickness, of selected pulse rate, of the selected field-of-view and of the patient girth all must be addressed at installation.
PMCID: PMC2663646  PMID: 16862405
Radiation exposure; Fluoroscopic equipment; Equipment settings
6.  Flat-panel detectors: how much better are they? 
Pediatric Radiology  2006;36(Suppl 2):173-181.
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.
PMCID: PMC2663651  PMID: 16862412
Flat-panel detectors; Fluoroscopy; Interventional radiology
7.  Management of pediatric radiation dose using GE fluoroscopic equipment 
Pediatric Radiology  2006;36(Suppl 2):204-211.
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.
PMCID: PMC2663641  PMID: 16862403
Pediatric dose management; Fluoroscopic equipment; Technical advances
8.  Prostate intrafraction motion evaluation using kV fluoroscopy during treatment delivery: A feasibility and accuracy study 
Medical physics  2008;35(5):1793-1806.
Margin reduction for prostate radiotherapy is limited by uncertainty in prostate localization during treatment. We investigated the feasibility and accuracy of measuring prostate intrafraction motion using kV fluoroscopy performed simultaneously with radiotherapy. Three gold coils used for target localization were implanted into the patient’s prostate gland before undergoing hypofractionated online image-guided step-and-shoot intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) on an Elekta Synergy linear accelerator. At each fraction, the patient was aligned using a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), after which the IMRT treatment delivery and fluoroscopy were performed simultaneously. In addition, a post-treatment CBCT was acquired with the patient still on the table. To measure the intrafraction motion, we developed an algorithm to register the fluoroscopy images to a reference image derived from the post-treatment CBCT, and we estimated coil motion in three-dimensional (3D) space by combining information from registrations at different gantry angles. We also detected the MV beam turning on and off using MV scatter incident in the same fluoroscopy images, and used this information to synchronize our intrafraction evaluation with the treatment delivery. In addition, we assessed the following: the method to synchronize with treatment delivery, the dose from kV imaging, the accuracy of the localization, and the error propagated into the 3D localization from motion between fluoroscopy acquisitions. With 0.16 mAs/frame and a bowtie filter implemented, the coils could be localized with the gantry at both 0° and 270° with the MV beam off, and at 270° with the MV beam on when multiple fluoroscopy frames were averaged. The localization in two-dimensions for phantom and patient measurements was performed with submillimeter accuracy. After backprojection into 3D the patient localization error was (−0.04±0.30) mm, (0.09±0.36) mm, and (0.03±0.68) mm in the right-left (RL), anterior-posterior (AP), and superior-inferior (SI) axes, respectively. Simulations showed that while oscillating (stationary) motion cannot be effectively represented in 3D, linearly drifting (nonstationary) motion is detectable with good accuracy. These results show that measuring prostate intrafraction motion using a single kV imager during radiotherapy is feasible and can be performed with acceptable accuracy.
PMCID: PMC2507873  PMID: 18561654
intrafraction motion; prostate cancer; kV fluoroscopy; IMRT; IGRT
9.  X-ray Dose Reduction through Adaptive Exposure in Fluoroscopic Imaging 
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%.
PMCID: PMC3230176  PMID: 21931295
10.  Establishing the radiation risk from fluoroscopic-assisted arthroscopic surgery of the hip 
International Orthopaedics  2012;36(9):1803-1806.
The purpose of the study was to quantify patient exposure to ionising radiation during fluoroscopic-assisted arthroscopic surgery of the hip, establish a risk profile of this exposure, and reassure patients of radiation safety during the procedure.
We retrospectively analysed the dose area products for 50 consecutive patients undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery by an experienced hip arthroscopic surgeon. The effective dose and organ dose were derived using a Monte Carlo program.
The mean total fluoroscopy time was 1.10 minutes and the mean dose area product value was 297.2 cGycm2. We calculated the entrance skin dose to be 52 mGy to the area where the beam was targeted (81 cm2). The mean effective dose for intra-operative fluoroscopy was 0.33 mSv, with a SD of 0.90 Sv.
This study confirms that fluoroscopic-assisted arthroscopic surgery of the hip is safe with a low maximum radiation dose and supports its continued use in preference to alternative imaging modalities.
PMCID: PMC3427451  PMID: 22588691
11.  Radiation dose to patients during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography 
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.
PMCID: PMC3159502  PMID: 21860683
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Radiation dose; Fluoroscopy; Radiation exposure; X-ray
12.  Advanced Electrophysiologic Mapping Systems 
Executive Summary
To assess the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and demand in Ontario for catheter ablation of complex arrhythmias guided by advanced nonfluoroscopy mapping systems. Particular attention was paid to ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF).
Clinical Need
Tachycardia refers to a diverse group of arrhythmias characterized by heart rates that are greater than 100 beats per minute. It results from abnormal firing of electrical impulses from heart tissues or abnormal electrical pathways in the heart because of scars. Tachycardia may be asymptomatic, or it may adversely affect quality of life owing to symptoms such as palpitations, headaches, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and syncope. Atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained arrhythmia, affects about 99,000 people in Ontario. It is associated with higher morbidity and mortality because of increased risk of stroke, embolism, and congestive heart failure. In atrial fibrillation, most of the abnormal arrhythmogenic foci are located inside the pulmonary veins, although the atrium may also be responsible for triggering or perpetuating atrial fibrillation. Ventricular tachycardia, often found in patients with ischemic heart disease and a history of myocardial infarction, is often life-threatening; it accounts for about 50% of sudden deaths.
Treatment of Tachycardia
The first line of treatment for tachycardia is antiarrhythmic drugs; for atrial fibrillation, anticoagulation drugs are also used to prevent stroke. For patients refractory to or unable to tolerate antiarrhythmic drugs, ablation of the arrhythmogenic heart tissues is the only option. Surgical ablation such as the Cox-Maze procedure is more invasive. Catheter ablation, involving the delivery of energy (most commonly radiofrequency) via a percutaneous catheter system guided by X-ray fluoroscopy, has been used in place of surgical ablation for many patients. However, this conventional approach in catheter ablation has not been found to be effective for the treatment of complex arrhythmias such as chronic atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. Advanced nonfluoroscopic mapping systems have been developed for guiding the ablation of these complex arrhythmias.
The Technology
Four nonfluoroscopic advanced mapping systems have been licensed by Health Canada:
CARTO EP mapping System (manufactured by Biosense Webster, CA) uses weak magnetic fields and a special mapping/ablation catheter with a magnetic sensor to locate the catheter and reconstruct a 3-dimensional geometry of the heart superimposed with colour-coded electric potential maps to guide ablation.
EnSite System (manufactured by Endocardial Solutions Inc., MN) includes a multi-electrode non-contact catheter that conducts simultaneous mapping. A processing unit uses the electrical data to computes more than 3,000 isopotential electrograms that are displayed on a reconstructed 3-dimensional geometry of the heart chamber. The navigational system, EnSite NavX, can be used separately with most mapping catheters.
The LocaLisa Intracardiac System (manufactured by Medtronics Inc, MN) is a navigational system that uses an electrical field to locate the mapping catheter. It reconstructs the location of the electrodes on the mapping catheter in 3-dimensional virtual space, thereby enabling an ablation catheter to be directed to the electrode that identifies abnormal electric potential.
Polar Constellation Advanced Mapping Catheter System (manufactured by Boston Scientific, MA) is a multielectrode basket catheter with 64 electrodes on 8 splines. Once deployed, each electrode is automatically traced. The information enables a 3-dimensional model of the basket catheter to be computed. Colour-coded activation maps are reconstructed online and displayed on a monitor. By using this catheter, a precise electrical map of the atrium can be obtained in several heartbeats.
Review Strategy
A systematic search of Cochrane, MEDLINE and EMBASE was conducted to identify studies that compared ablation guided by any of the advanced systems to fluoroscopy-guided ablation of tachycardia. English-language studies with sample sizes greater than or equal to 20 that were published between 2000 and 2005 were included. Observational studies on safety of advanced mapping systems and fluoroscopy were also included. Outcomes of interest were acute success, defined as termination of arrhythmia immediately following ablation; long-term success, defined as being arrhythmia free at follow-up; total procedure time; fluoroscopy time; radiation dose; number of radiofrequency pulses; complications; cost; and the cost-effectiveness ratio.
Quality of the individual studies was assessed using established criteria. Quality of the overall evidence was determined by applying the GRADE evaluation system. (3) Qualitative synthesis of the data was performed. Quantitative analysis using Revman 4.2 was performed when appropriate.
Quality of the Studies
Thirty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. These comprised 18 studies on CARTO (4 randomized controlled trials [RCTs] and 14 non-RCTs), 3 RCTs on EnSite NavX, 4 studies on LocaLisa Navigational System (1 RCT and 3 non-RCTs), 2 studies on EnSite and CARTO, 1 on Polar Constellation basket catheter, and 7 studies on radiation safety.
The quality of the studies ranged from moderate to low. Most of the studies had small sample sizes with selection bias, and there was no blinding of patients or care providers in any of the studies. Duration of follow-up ranged from 6 weeks to 29 months, with most having at least 6 months of follow-up. There was heterogeneity with respect to the approach to ablation, definition of success, and drug management before and after the ablation procedure.
Summary of Findings
Evidence is based on a small number of small RCTS and non-RCTS with methodological flaws.
Advanced nonfluoroscopy mapping/navigation systems provided real time 3-dimensional images with integration of anatomic and electrical potential information that enable better visualization of areas of interest for ablation
Advanced nonfluoroscopy mapping/navigation systems appear to be safe; they consistently shortened the fluoroscopy duration and radiation exposure.
Evidence suggests that nonfluoroscopy mapping and navigation systems may be used as adjuncts to rather than replacements for fluoroscopy in guiding the ablation of complex arrhythmias.
Most studies showed a nonsignificant trend toward lower overall failure rate for advanced mapping-guided ablation compared with fluoroscopy-guided mapping.
Pooled analyses of small RCTs and non-RCTs that compared fluoroscopy- with nonfluoroscopy-guided ablation of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter showed that advanced nonfluoroscopy mapping and navigational systems:
Yielded acute success rates of 69% to 100%, not significantly different from fluoroscopy ablation.
Had overall failure rates at 3 months to 19 months of 1% to 40% (median 25%).
Resulted in a 10% relative reduction in overall failure rate for advanced mapping guided-ablation compared to fluoroscopy guided ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
Yielded added benefit over fluoroscopy in guiding the ablation of complex arrhythmia. The advanced systems were shown to reduce the arrhythmia burden and the need for antiarrhythmic drugs in patients with complex arrhythmia who had failed fluoroscopy-guided ablation
Based on predominantly observational studies, circumferential PV ablation guided by a nonfluoroscopy system was shown to do the following:
Result in freedom from atrial fibrillation (with or without antiarrhythmic drug) in 75% to 95% of patients (median 79%). This effect was maintained up to 28 months.
Result in freedom from atrial fibrillation without antiarrhythmic drugs in 47% to 95% of patients (median 63%).
Improve patient survival at 28 months after the procedure as compared with drug therapy.
Require special skills; patient outcomes are operator dependent, and there is a significant learning curve effect.
Complication rates of pulmonary vein ablation guided by an advanced mapping/navigation system ranged from 0% to 10% with a median of 6% during a follow-up period of 6 months to 29 months.
The complication rate of the study with the longest follow-up was 8%.
The most common complications of advanced catheter-guided ablation were stroke, transient ischemic attack, cardiac tamponade, myocardial infarction, atrial flutter, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary vein stenosis. A small number of cases with fatal atrial-esophageal fistula had been reported and were attributed to the high radiofrequency energy used rather than to the advanced mapping systems.
Economic Analysis
An Ontario-based economic analysis suggests that the cumulative incremental upfront costs of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation guided by advanced nonfluoroscopy mapping could be recouped in 4.7 years through cost avoidance arising from less need for antiarrhythmic drugs and fewer hospitalization for stroke and heart failure.
Expert Opinion
Expert consultants to the Medical Advisory Secretariat noted the following:
Nonfluoroscopy mapping is not necessary for simple ablation procedures (e.g., typical flutter). However, it is essential in the ablation of complex arrhythmias including these:
Symptomatic, drug-refractory atrial fibrillation
Arrhythmias in people who have had surgery for congenital heart disease (e.g., macro re-entrant tachycardia in people who have had surgery for congenital heart disease).
Ventricular tachycardia due to myocardial infarction
Atypical atrial flutter
Advanced mapping systems represent an enabling technology in the ablation of complex arrhythmias. The ablation of these complex cases would not have been feasible or advisable with fluoroscopy-guided ablation and, therefore, comparative studies would not be feasible or ethical in such cases.
Many of the studies included patients with relatively simple arrhythmias (e.g., typical atrial flutter and atrial ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia), for which the success rates using the fluoroscopy approach were extremely high and unlikely to be improved upon using nonfluoroscopic mapping.
By age 50, almost 100% of people who have had surgery for congenital heart disease will develop arrhythmia.
Some centres are under greater pressure because of expertise in complex ablation procedures for subsets of patients.
The use of advanced mapping systems requires the support of additional electrophysiologic laboratory time and nursing time.
For patients suffering from symptomatic, drug-refractory atrial fibrillation and are otherwise healthy, catheter ablation offers a treatment option that is less invasive than is open surgical ablation.
Small RCTs that may have been limited by type 2 errors showed significant reductions in fluoroscopy exposure in nonfluoroscopy-guided ablation and a trend toward lower overall failure rate that did not reach statistical significance.
Pooled analysis suggests that advanced mapping systems may reduce the overall failure rate in the ablation of atrial fibrillation.
Observational studies suggest that ablation guided by complex mapping/navigation systems is a promising treatment for complex arrhythmias such as highly symptomatic, drug-refractory atrial fibrillation for which rate control is not an option
In people with atrial fibrillation, ablation guided by advanced nonfluoroscopy mapping resulted in arrhythmia free rates of 80% or higher, reduced mortality, and better quality of life at experienced centres.
Although generally safe, serious complications such as stroke, atrial-esophageal, and pulmonary vein stenosis had been reported following ablation procedures.
Experts advised that advanced mapping systems are also required for catheter ablation of:
Hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia from ischemic heart disease
Macro re-entrant atrial tachycardia after surgical correction of congenital heart disease
Atypical atrial flutter
Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is still evolving, and it appears that different ablative techniques may be appropriate depending on the characteristics of the patient and the atrial fibrillation.
Data from centres that perform electrophysiological mapping suggest that patients with drug-refractory atrial fibrillation may be the largest group with unmet need for advanced mapping-guided catheter ablation in Ontario.
Nonfluoroscopy mapping-guided pulmonary vein ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation has a significant learning effect; therefore, it is advisable for the province to establish centres of excellence to ensure a critical volume, to gain efficiency and to minimize the need for antiarrhythmic drugs after ablation and the need for future repeat ablation procedures.
PMCID: PMC3379531  PMID: 23074499
13.  Radiation risk from fluoroscopically-assisted anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction 
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3025191  PMID: 20501019
Anterior cruciate ligament; Reconstruction; Intra-operative fluoroscopy; Radiation dose; Radiation risk
14.  Retrospective analysis of radiation exposure during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: Critical determinants 
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.
PMCID: PMC3206549  PMID: 22059160
ERCP; Fluoroscopy time; Radiation
15.  Evaluation of radiation dose to patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures at Ramathibodi Hospital, Thailand 
This study was carried out to assess the radiation dose to patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures at Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
Data were collected from 60 patients under transarterial oily-chemoembolisation (TOCE) and femoral angiography performed with the Toshiba Infinix model VC-i FPD single plane system. Data were also collected from 60 patients who underwent brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and dural-arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) embolisation, performed with the Toshiba Infinix model VF-i bi-plane systems. A built-in air kerma area product (KAP) meter calibrated in situ was used for the skin dose calculation.
The calibration coefficient of air kerma area product meter at tube voltage between 50 kV and 100 kV was found to vary within ± 5.07%, ± 7.2%, ± 4.86 % from calibration coefficient of 80 kV for a single-plane, tube 1 and tube 2 of bi-plane x-ray system, respectively. Mean air kerma area product values were 90.99 ± 52.89, 31.02 ± 17.92, 33.11 ± 23.99 (Frontal), 35.01 ± 19.10 (Lateral), 50.15 ± 44.76 (Frontal), 97.31 ± 44.12 (Lateral) Gy-cm2 for transarterial oily-chemoembolisation, femoral angiography, diagnostic cerebral angiography, therapeutic cerebral angiography, respectively. The therapeutic cerebral angiography procedure was found to give the highest entrance dose, number of images and fluoroscopy time: 362.63 cGy (Lateral), 1015 images (Lateral) and 126 minutes, respectively. However, the highest air kerma area product value was from transarterial oily-chemoembolisation with 264.37 Gy-cm2. There were 2 cases of therapeutic cerebral angiography, where the patient entrance dose was higher than 3 Gy in the frontal view, which reached the deterministic threshold for temporary epilation.
Very wide variationswere found in patient dose from different interventional procedures. There is a need for a dose record system to provide feedback to radiologists who perform the procedures; especially in cases where the dose exceeds the deterministic threshold.
PMCID: PMC3265194  PMID: 22279499
Radiation doses; Patient doses; Air Kerma Area Product (KAP); Entrance dose; Interventional Radiology
16.  Enhancing availability of the electronic image record for patients and caregivers during follow-up care 
Journal of Digital Imaging  1999;12(Suppl 1):78-80.
To develop a personal computer (PC)-based software package that allows portability of the electronic imaging record. To create custom software that enhances the transfer of images in two fashions. Firstly, to an end user, whether physician or patient, provide a browser capable of viewing digital images on a conventional personal computer. Second, to provide the ability to transfer the archived Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images to other institutional picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) through a transfer engine.Method/materials: Radiologic studies are provided on a CD-ROM. This CD-ROM contains a copy of the browser to view images, a DICOM-based engine to transfer images to the receiving institutional PACS, and copies of all pertinent imaging studies for the particular patient. The host computer system in an Intel based Pentium 90 MHz PC with Microsoft Windows 95 software (Microsoft Inc, Seattle, WA). The system has 48 MB of random access memory, a 3.0 GB hard disk, and a Smart and Friendly CD-R 2006 CD-ROM recorder (Smart and Friendly Inc, Chatsworth, CA).Results: Each CD-ROM disc can hold 640 MB of data. In our experience, this houses anywhere from, based on Table 1, 12 to 30 computed tomography (CT) examinations, 24 to 80 magnetic resonance (MR) examinations, 60 to 128 ultrasound examinations, 32 to 64 computed radiographic examinations, 80 digitized x-rays, or five digitized mammography examinations. We have been able to successfully transfer DICOM images from one DICOM-based PACS to another DICOM-based PACS. This is accomplished by inserting the created CD-ROM onto a CD drive attached to the receiving PACS and running the transfer engine application.Conclusions: Providing copies of radiologic studies performed to the patient is a necessity in every radiology department. Conventionally, film libraries have provided copies to the patient generating issues of cost of loss of film, as well as mailing costs. This software package saves costs and loss of studies, as well as improving patient care by enabling the patient to maintain an archive of their electronic imaging record.
PMCID: PMC3452908  PMID: 10342173
17.  A Study to Compare the Radiation Absorbed Dose of the C-arm Fluoroscopic Modes 
The Korean Journal of Pain  2011;24(4):199-204.
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.
PMCID: PMC3248583  PMID: 22220241
fluoroscopy; radiation; radiation dosage; radiographic image enhancement
18.  Management of pediatric radiation dose using Philips fluoroscopy systems DoseWise: perfect image, perfect sense 
Pediatric Radiology  2006;36(Suppl 2):216-220.
Although image quality (IQ) is the ultimate goal for accurate diagnosis and treatment, minimizing radiation dose is equally important. This is especially true when pediatric patients are examined, because their sensitivity to radiation-induced cancer is two to three times greater than that of adults. DoseWise is an ALARA-based philosophy within Philips Medical Systems that is active at every level of product design. It encompasses a set of techniques, programs and practices that ensures optimal IQ while protecting people in the X-ray environments. DoseWise methods include management of the X-ray beam, less radiation-on time and more dose information for the operator. Smart beam management provides automatic customization of the X-ray beam spectrum, shape, and pulse frequency. The Philips-patented grid-controlled fluoroscopy (GCF) provides grid switching of the X-ray beam in the X-ray tube instead of the traditional generator switching method. In the examination of pediatric patients, DoseWise technology has been scientifically documented to reduce radiation dose to <10% of the dose of traditional continuous fluoroscopy systems. The result is improved IQ at a significantly lower effective dose, which contributes to the safety of patients and staff.
PMCID: PMC2663644  PMID: 16862406
Pediatric dose management; Fluoroscopic equipment; Technical advances
19.  Radiation dose in neuroangiography using image noise reduction technology: a population study based on 614 patients 
Neuroradiology  2013;55(11):1365-1372.
The purpose of this study was to quantify the reduction in patient radiation dose by X-ray imaging technology using image noise reduction and system settings for neuroangiography and to assess its impact on the working habits of the physician.
Radiation dose data from 190 neuroangiographies and 112 interventional neuroprocedures performed with state-of-the-art image processing and reference system settings were collected for the period January–June 2010. The system was then configured with extra image noise reduction algorithms and system settings, which enabled radiation dose reduction without loss of image quality. Radiation dose data from 174 neuroangiographies and 138 interventional neuroprocedures were collected for the period January–June 2012. Procedures were classified as diagnostic or interventional. Patient radiation exposure was quantified using cumulative dose area product and cumulative air kerma. Impact on working habits of the physician was quantified using fluoroscopy time and number of digital subtraction angiography (DSA) images.
The optimized system settings provided significant reduction in dose indicators versus reference system settings (p<0.001): from 124 to 47 Gy cm2 and from 0.78 to 0.27 Gy for neuroangiography, and from 328 to 109 Gy cm2 and from 2.71 to 0.89 Gy for interventional neuroradiology. Differences were not significant between the two systems with regard to fluoroscopy time or number of DSA images.
X-ray imaging technology using an image noise reduction algorithm and system settings provided approximately 60% radiation dose reduction in neuroangiography and interventional neuroradiology, without affecting the working habits of the physician.
PMCID: PMC3825538  PMID: 24005833
Angiography; Radiation dose; Radiation physics; Imaging technology; Interventional neuroradiology
20.  Deformable adult human phantoms for radiation protection dosimetry: anthropometric data representing size distributions of adult worker populations and software algorithms 
Physics in Medicine and Biology  2010;55(13):3789-3811.
Computational phantoms representing workers and patients are essential in estimating organ doses from various occupational radiation exposures and medical procedures. Nearly all existing phantoms, however, were purposely designed to match internal and external anatomical features of the Reference Man as defined by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). To reduce uncertainty in dose calculations caused by anatomical variations, a new generation of phantoms of varying organ and body sizes is needed. This paper presents detailed anatomical data in tables and graphs that are used to design such size-adjustable phantoms representing a range of adult individuals in terms of the body height, body weight and internal organ volume/mass. Two different sets of information are used to derive the phantom sets: (1) individual internal organ size and volume/mass distribution data derived from the recommendations of the ICRP in Publications 23 and 89 and (2) whole-body height and weight percentile data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2002). The NHANES height and weight data for 19 year old males and females are used to estimate the distributions of individuals’ size, which is unknown, that corresponds to the ICRP organ and tissue distributions. This paper then demonstrates the usage of these anthropometric data in the development of deformable anatomical phantoms. A pair of phantoms—modeled entirely in mesh surfaces—of the adult male and female, RPI-adult male (AM) and RPI-adult female (AF) are used as the base for size-adjustable phantoms. To create percentile-specific phantoms from these two base phantoms, organ surface boundaries are carefully altered according to the tabulated anthropometric data. Software algorithms are developed to automatically match the organ volumes and masses with desired values. Finally, these mesh-based, percentile-specific phantoms are converted into voxel-based phantoms for Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations. This paper also compares absorbed organ doses for the RPI-AM-5th-height and -weight percentile phantom (165 cm in height and 56 kg in weight) and the RPI-AM-95th-height and -weight percentile phantom (188 cm in height and 110 kg in weight)with those for theRPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom (176 cm in height and 73 kg in weight) from exposures to 0.5 MeV external photon beams. The results suggest a general finding that the phantoms representing a slimmer and shorter individual male received higher absorbed organ doses because of lesser degree of photon attenuation due to smaller amount of body fat. In particular, doses to the prostate and adrenal in the RPI-AM-5th-height and -weight percentile phantom is about 10% greater than those in the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom approximating the ICRP Reference Man. On the other hand, the doses to the prostate and adrenal in the RPI-AM-95th-height and -weight percentile phantom are approximately 20% greater than those in the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom. Although this study only considered the photon radiation of limited energies and irradiation geometries, the potential to improve the organ dose accuracy using the deformable phantom technology is clearly demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC3290660  PMID: 20551505
21.  Verification of the performance accuracy of a real-time skin-dose tracking system for interventional fluoroscopic procedures 
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.
PMCID: PMC3127243  PMID: 21731400
skin dose; dosimetry; radiation safety; cardiac fluoroscopic procedures; fluoroscopic dose; dose tracking; real-time dosimetry; fluoroscopic interventional procedures
22.  Fluoroscopic radiation exposure of the kyphoplasty patient 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(3):347-355.
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.
PMCID: PMC3489303  PMID: 15947995
Kyphoplasty; Patient radiation exposure; Biplanar fluoroscopy; Spine
23.  Improved-Resolution, Real-Time Skin-Dose Mapping for Interventional Fluoroscopic Procedures 
Proceedings of SPIE  2014;9033(903340):10.1117/12.2042519.
We have developed a dose-tracking system (DTS) that provides a real-time display of the skin-dose distribution on a 3D patient graphic during fluoroscopic procedures. Radiation dose to individual points on the skin is calculated using exposure and geometry parameters from the digital bus on a Toshiba C-arm unit. To accurately define the distribution of dose, it is necessary to use a high-resolution patient graphic consisting of a large number of elements. In the original DTS version, the patient graphics were obtained from a library of population body scans which consisted of larger-sized triangular elements resulting in poor congruence between the graphic points and the x-ray beam boundary. To improve the resolution without impacting real-time performance, the number of calculations must be reduced and so we created software-designed human models and modified the DTS to read the graphic as a list of vertices of the triangular elements such that common vertices of adjacent triangles are listed once. Dose is calculated for each vertex point once instead of the number of times that a given vertex appears in multiple triangles. By reformatting the graphic file, we were able to subdivide the triangular elements by a factor of 64 times with an increase in the file size of only 1.3 times. This allows a much greater number of smaller triangular elements and improves resolution of the patient graphic without compromising the real-time performance of the DTS and also gives a smoother graphic display for better visualization of the dose distribution.
PMCID: PMC4148722  PMID: 25177446
Interventional fluoroscopic procedures; dose tracking system; skin dose; fluoroscopy exposure; dose mapping
24.  Use of a graphics processing unit (GPU) to facilitate real-time 3D graphic presentation of the patient skin-dose distribution during fluoroscopic interventional procedures 
Proceedings of SPIE  2012;8313:831343-.
We have developed a dose-tracking system (DTS) that calculates the radiation dose to the patient’s skin in real-time by acquiring exposure parameters and imaging-system-geometry from the digital bus on a Toshiba Infinix C-arm unit. The cumulative dose values are then displayed as a color map on an OpenGL-based 3D graphic of the patient for immediate feedback to the interventionalist. Determination of those elements on the surface of the patient 3D-graphic that intersect the beam and calculation of the dose for these elements in real time demands fast computation. Reducing the size of the elements results in more computation load on the computer processor and therefore a tradeoff occurs between the resolution of the patient graphic and the real-time performance of the DTS. The speed of the DTS for calculating dose to the skin is limited by the central processing unit (CPU) and can be improved by using the parallel processing power of a graphics processing unit (GPU). Here, we compare the performance speed of GPU-based DTS software to that of the current CPU-based software as a function of the resolution of the patient graphics. Results show a tremendous improvement in speed using the GPU. While an increase in the spatial resolution of the patient graphics resulted in slowing down the computational speed of the DTS on the CPU, the speed of the GPU-based DTS was hardly affected. This GPU-based DTS can be a powerful tool for providing accurate, real-time feedback about patient skin-dose to physicians while performing interventional procedures.
PMCID: PMC3766975  PMID: 24027616
skin dose; dosimetry; fluoroscopic dose; dose tracking; real-time dosimetry; fluoroscopic interventional procedures; GPU
25.  Can Computer-assisted Surgery Reduce the Effective Dose for Spinal Fusion and Sacroiliac Screw Insertion? 
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.
PMCID: PMC2919865  PMID: 20521129

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