Lack of radiation protection for endoscopists performing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

Korean J Gastroenterol. 2011 Dec;58(2):93-9. doi: 10.4166/kjg.2011.58.2.93.


Background/aims: ERCP using fluoroscopy should be practiced with an adequate radiation protection. However, the awareness of gastrointestinal endoscopists to radiation protection was considered insufficient. In Korea, a country with a rapid increase the number of ERCP procedures, there is no data about radiation protection practices for gastrointestinal endoscopists. The purpose of this study was to investigate current clinical practices and the awareness on radiation protection in ERCP performing physicians in Korea.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire regarding radiation protection practices was mailed to 100 members of Korean Pancreatobiliary Association who was porforming ERCP. The questionnaire included ERCP volume of each endoscopist, use of protection devices such as apron, thyroid shield, lead glasses and any mobile shield for scattered radiation, and whether they monitored their own radiation exposure dosage.

Results: All respondents wore lead aprons during ERCP. While 52.5% of endoscopists answered that they always wear thyroid guards, 26.9% rarely or never wore it. Only 14% wore lead glasses during the procedure and 69% never wore it. The preparation rates of mobile shields or lead curtains were only 14% and 24%, respectively. Only 10% of endoscopists attached an X-ray badge and 66.7% never used it. Moreover, 75% of endoscopists responded that they did not monitor their own exposure dose to radiation during ERCP.

Conclusions: The lack of radiation protection of ERCP endoscopists in Korea was seemed serious. Awareness of radiation hazard should be more concerned and educated in parallel with the preparation of radiation protection equipments.

MeSH terms

  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde*
  • Eye Protective Devices
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Monitoring
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thyroid Gland / radiation effects