Measures to Reduce Radiation in a Modern Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Background—X-ray use in the catheterization laboratory is guided by the principle of as low as reasonably achievable. In accordance with this principle, we reduced the default fluoroscopic frame rate from 10 to 7.5 frames/s and increased the emphasis on the use of low-dose acquisition starting January 1, 2013. We aimed to study the impact of these measures on the total air kerma during diagnostic catheterization (DC) and percutaneous interventions (PCI).
Methods and Results—Propensity matching based on age, sex, body surface area, total fluoroscopy time, and total acquisition time was used to select matched patients for 2012 and 2013, further stratified by DC or PCI. The total air kerma was subsequently compared between 2012 and 2013, separately for DC and PCI. Median total air kerma during DC in 2013 was 625 mGy, which was significantly lower than the corresponding values in 2012 (median, 798 mGy; P<0.001). Similarly, median total air kerma during PCI in 2013 was 1675 mGy, which was significantly less than corresponding values in 2012 (median 2463 mGy, P<0.001). On comparison of air kerma rates between corresponding projections in 2 years, we observed a significant reduction in fluoroscopy- and acquisition-based air kerma rates in 2013, after institution of radiation reduction measures in all projections.
Conclusions—With reduction in the default fluoroscopic frame rate and a greater use of low-dose acquisition, there has been a marked reduction in the total air kerma and air kerma rates for DC and PCI.
- Received February 3, 2014.
- Accepted July 18, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.