Radiation exposure of the operator during cardiac catheter ablation procedures

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2012 Jul;150(3):306-11. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncr414. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


Radiation exposure of the operator during cardiac catheter ablation procedures was assessed for an experienced cardiologist adopting various measures of radiation protection and utilised electroanatomic navigation. Chip thermoluminescent dosemeters were placed at the eyes, chest, wrists and legs of the operator. The ranges of fluoroscopy time and air kerma area product values associated with cardiac ablation procedures were wide (6.3-48.3 min and 1.7-80.3 Gy cm(2), respectively). The measured median radiation doses per procedure for each monitored position were 23.6 and 21.3 μSv to the left and right wrists, respectively, 25.3 and 30.4 μSv to the left and right legs, respectively. The doses to the eyes were below the minimum detectable dose of 9 μSv. The estimated median effective dose was 22.5 μSv. Considering the actual workload of the operator, the calculated annual doses to the hands, legs and eyes, as well as the annual effective dose, were all below the corresponding limits. The findings of this study indicate that cardiac ablation procedures performed at a modern laboratory do not impose a high radiation hazard to the operator when radiation protection measures are routinely adopted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy*
  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects*
  • Catheter Ablation / standards
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / adverse effects*
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / standards
  • Eye / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Leg / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Protection*
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Thermoluminescent Dosimetry
  • Thorax / radiation effects
  • Wrist / radiation effects
  • Young Adult