Purpose: To determine the radiation dose to radiologists who perform computed tomographic (CT) fluoroscopic interventional procedures by using a quick-check method and a low-milliampere technique.
Materials and methods: Two hundred twenty CT fluoroscopy--guided interventional procedures were performed in 189 patients. Procedures included 57 spinal injections, 17 spinal biopsies, 24 chest biopsies, 20 abdominal aspirations, 44 abdominal biopsies, and 58 abdominal drainages. Procedure details were prospectively recorded and included site, depth, target diameter, milliampere value, kilovolt peak, fluoroscopic time, and CT technique (continuous CT fluoroscopy, quick-check method, or a combination of these techniques). An individual collar and finger radiation detector were worn by each radiologist during each procedure to determine the dose per procedure.
Results: The quick-check technique was performed in 191 (87%) of 220 procedures. Four procedures were performed with continuous CT fluoroscopy, and a combination technique was used for 25 (11%) procedures. The overall mean CT fluoroscopic time was 17.9 seconds (range, 1.2--101.5 seconds). The mean milliampere value was 13.2 mA (range, 10--50 mA). The overall mean radiologist radiation dose per procedure was 2.5 mrem (0.025 mSv) (whole body). Individual procedure doses ranged from 0.66 to 4.75 mrem (0.007--0.048 mSv). The finger radiation dose was negligible.
Conclusion: By using a low-milliampere technique and the quick-check method, CT fluoroscopic time and radiation exposure can be minimized.