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, 6 (3), 295-300

Radiation Exposure to the Spinal Interventionalist Performing Lumbar Discography

Affiliations
  • PMID: 16880875

Radiation Exposure to the Spinal Interventionalist Performing Lumbar Discography

Kenneth P Botwin et al. Pain Physician.

Abstract

To evaluate radiation exposure to the spinal interventionalist performing lumbar discography. A prospective study on four spinal interventionalists who performed 106 consecutive lumbar discograms (levels) on 37 patients with low back pain. Radiation exposure was monitored with the assistance of a radiological technologist (RT) who allocated four (4) dosimetry badges to all spinal interventionalists performing Discograms on consecutive patients being referred for evaluation of possible discogenic pain. The badges were placed on the ring finger, glasses and both the inside and outside of the lead apron worn by the interventionalist. The mean fluoroscopy time per procedure was 57.24 seconds. The mean/cumulative exposure per procedure was 3.66(-/+0.915)/390(-/+9.750) mREM at the "ring" badge, 2.35(-/+0.635)/251(-/+6.275) mREM at the "outside apron" badge, 1.49(-/+0.373)/159(-/+3.975) mREM at the "glasses" badge. A statistically significant higher radiation exposure was found on discograms at the L5/S1 level compared to the L4/5 and L3/4 levels. Our study illustrates that radiation exposure to the spinal interventionalist performing lumbar discography is well within safety limits.

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