Occupational radiation doses to the extremities and the eyes in interventional radiology and cardiology procedures

Br J Radiol. 2011 Jan;84(997):70-7. doi: 10.1259/bjr/83222759.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine occupational dose levels in interventional radiology and cardiology procedures.

Methods: The study covered a sample of 25 procedures and monitored occupational dose for all laboratory personnel. Each individual wore eight thermoluminescent dosemeters next to the eyes, wrists, fingers and legs during each procedure. Radiation protection shields used in each procedure were recorded.

Results: The highest doses per procedure were recorded for interventionists at the left wrist (average 485 μSv, maximum 5239 μSv) and left finger (average 324 μSv, maximum 2877 μSv), whereas lower doses were recorded for the legs (average 124 μSv, maximum 1959 μSv) and the eyes (average 64 μSv, maximum 1129 μSv). Doses to the assisting nurses during the intervention were considerably lower; the highest doses were recorded at the wrists (average 26 μSv, maximum 41 μSv) and legs (average 18 μSv, maximum 22 μSv), whereas doses to the eyes were minimal (average 4 μSv, maximum 16 μSv). Occupational doses normalised to kerma area product (KAP) ranged from 11.9 to 117.3 μSv/1000 cGy cm² and KAP was poorly correlated to the interventionists' extremity doses.

Conclusion: Calculation of the dose burden for interventionists considering the actual number of procedures performed annually revealed that dose limits for the extremities and the lenses of the eyes were not exceeded. However, there are cases in which high doses have been recorded and this can lead to exceeding the dose limits when bad practices are followed and the radiation protection tools are not properly used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Extremities / radiation effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Protection / standards*
  • Radiology, Interventional* / methods