Comparative occupational radiation exposure between fixed and mobile imaging systems

Daniel E. Kendrick, Claire P. Miller, Pamela A. Moorehead, Ann H. Kim, Henry R. Baele, Virginia L. Wong, David W. Jordan, Vikram S. Kashyap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective Endovascular intervention exposes surgical staff to scattered radiation, which varies according to procedure and imaging equipment. The purpose of this study was to determine differences in occupational exposure between procedures performed with fixed imaging (FI) in an endovascular suite compared with conventional mobile imaging (MI) in a standard operating room. Methods A series of 116 endovascular cases were performed over a 4-month interval in a dedicated endovascular suite with FI and conventional operating room with MI. All cases were performed at a single institution and radiation dose was recorded using real-time dosimetry badges from Unfors RaySafe (Hopkinton, Mass). A dosimeter was mounted in each room to establish a radiation baseline. Staff dose was recorded using individual badges worn on the torso lead. Total mean air kerma (Kar; mGy, patient dose) and mean case dose (mSv, scattered radiation) were compared between rooms and across all staff positions for cases of varying complexity. Statistical analyses for all continuous variables were performed using t test and analysis of variance where appropriate. Results A total of 43 cases with MI and 73 cases with FI were performed by four vascular surgeons. Total mean Kar, and case dose were significantly higher with FI compared with MI. (mean ± standard error of the mean, 523 ± 49 mGy vs 98 ± 19 mGy; P <.00001; 0.77 ± 0.03 mSv vs 0.16 ± 0.08 mSv, P <.00001). Exposure for the primary surgeon and assistant was significantly higher with FI compared with MI. Mean exposure for all cases using either imaging modality, was significantly higher for the primary surgeon and assistant than for support staff (ie, nurse, radiology technologist) beyond 6 feet from the X-ray source, indicated according to one-way analysis of variance (MI: P <.00001; FI: P <.00001). Support staff exposure was negligible and did not differ between FI and MI. Room dose stratified according to case complexity (Kar) showed statistically significantly higher scattered radiation in FI vs MI across all quartiles. Conclusions The scattered radiation is several-fold higher with FI than MI across all levels of case complexity. Radiation exposure decreases with distance from the radiation source, and is negligible outside of a 6-foot radius. Modern endovascular suites allow high-fidelity imaging, yet additional strategies to minimize exposure and occupational risk are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 by the Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc.


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