Cancer risk from professional exposure in staff working in cardiac catheterization laboratory: insights from the National Research Council's Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII Report

Am Heart J. 2009 Jan;157(1):118-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2008.08.009.


Background: Occupational doses from fluoroscopy-guided interventional procedures are the highest ones registered among medical staff using x-rays. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the order of magnitude of cancer risk caused by professional radiation exposure in modern invasive cardiology practice.

Methods: From the dosimetric Tuscany Health Physics data bank of 2006, we selected dosimetric data of the 26 (7 women, 19 men; age 46 +/- 9 years) workers of the cardiovascular catheterization laboratory with effective dose >2 mSv. Effective dose (E) was expressed in milliSievert, calculated from personal dose equivalent registered by the thermoluminescent dosimeter, at waist or chest, under the apron, according to the recommendations of National Council of Radiation Protection. Lifetime attributable risk of cancer was estimated using the approach of Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation 2006 report VII.

Results: Cardiac catheterization laboratory staff represented 67% of the 6 workers with yearly exposure >6 mSv. Of the 26 workers with 2006 exposure >2 mSv, 15 of them had complete records of at least 10 (up to 25) consecutive years. For these 15 subjects having a more complete lifetime dosimetric history, the median individual effective dose was 46 mSv (interquartile range = 24-64). The median risk of (fatal and nonfatal) cancer (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation 2006) was 1 in 192 (interquartile range = 1 in 137-1 in 370).

Conclusions: Cumulative professional radiological exposure is associated with a non-negligible Lifetime attributable risk of cancer for the most exposed contemporary cardiac catheterization laboratory staff.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors