Determination of minimum effective height of transparent radiation face shielding for fluoroscopy

Health Phys. 2011 Nov:101 Suppl 3:S135-41. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31821ec5bf.


During interventional procedures, the vast majority of scatter radiation originates from the patient and table and travels in all directions in straight lines. Because the operator's head is much higher than the patient and at an angle upward and to the side of the patient (not directly above), the scatter received by the operator's head is projected in an upward angle. Thus a face shield could potentially be lower than the object it is shielding, e.g., below the eyes. This principle may be used as an advantage to design the lowest shield that effectively protects the head while providing optimum vision, appearance, acoustics, low weight, and sense of openness. A flat acrylic plate shield, 0.5 mm Pb equivalence, was suspended vertically in front of a 451P dosimeter. A phantom patient created scatter in an interventional suite while the dosimeter was placed at the level of the crowns of different operators' heads. Many different configurations were tested to determine which ones would provide effective shielding. The results confirmed that the top of the shield may reside several centimeters below the vertical height of the dosimeter (operator's crown), allowing line of sight to monitor above the shield, and still provide effective shielding equivalent to when the dosimeter is positioned directly behind the center of the shield. The image receptor functioned as an effective shield against scatter. Factors increasing the minimum height of effective shielding included shorter operator, opposite oblique projection of image receptor, and shield closer to the face (in horizontal direction).

MeSH terms

  • Face / radiation effects*
  • Fluoroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Fluoroscopy / instrumentation
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Radiation Monitoring
  • Radiation Protection / instrumentation*