This study aimed to evaluate the protection granted by a simple device (X'TENS®, Thiebaud, France) and to provide operators with information on the performance of this new device, which has not yet been assessed. Our assumption is that this device efficiently reduces the radiation dose to the operator.
In a prospective clinical study, the radiation dose the operator's hand receives has been assessed using a specific sensor (UNFOR Instrument). Each patient included in the study was to receive at least two injections of cement during the procedure. Exposure was measured with and without the range extender. The data collected were then processed using a Wilcoxon matched pairs test.
During 14 interventions, 20 vertebrae were treated with both procedures. Eleven women and three men were included. Seven patients underwent vertebroplasty for metastatic lesions and seven for osteoporotic lesions, bone fractures or vertebral compressions. The average injection time was 1.35 minutes with the device and 1.20 without (p=0.75). The dose to the hand per ml injected was 111.37 vs. 166.91 (p<0.05).
Theoretically, the protection granted by the range extender depends on the length of the device. Our results are consistent with the inverse-square law. However, the variations in our results indicate that a proper and rigorous use is mandatory for the device to be effective. Given that radioprotection during fluoroscopy procedures is a frequently raised issue, the need for information for a safer practice increases likewise.