Radiation doses during pediatric radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures

Richard A. Geise, Nancy E. Peters, Ann Dunnigan, Simón Milstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Because RF catheter oblation procedures may be lengthy and are commonly performed in young patients, concern has arisen about radiation dose in this group of patients. This article investigates radiation doses in pediatric patients undergoing RF catheter ablation. Standard fluoroscopic equipment used for diagnostic electrophysiological catheterization studies is technologically capable of dose rates as high as 90 milligray (mGy) per minute to skin and adjacent lung and 260 mGy/min to vertebral bone. Dose rates of this magnitude when used for extended periods of time have been known to cause erythema, pneumonitis, and retardation of bone growth. We measured skin dose rates of nine pediatric patients undergoing RF catheter oblation for tachycardia and calculated doses to the skin using standard dosimetric methods. Fluoroscopic techniques and equipment were studied using a patient simulating phantom. Overlap of fluoroscopic fields was checked using radiotherapy portal verification film, and regions in which doses overlapped from multiple angle exposures were verified using a treatment planning computer. Patient skin dose rates ranged from 6.2-49 mGy/min for patients ranging in age from 2-20 years. Maximum skin doses ranged from 0.09- 2.35 Gy. Our data demonstrate the need to directly measure dose rates for individual fluoroscopic equipment and procedural techniques in order to determine whether limitations need to be set for procedural times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1611
Number of pages7
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11 I
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • ablution
  • pediatric cardiology
  • radiation dose


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