Radiation Risk Categories in Cardiac Catheterization for Congenital Heart Disease: A Tool to Aid in the Evaluation of Radiation Outcomes

Pediatr Cardiol. 2019 Feb;40(2):445-453. doi: 10.1007/s00246-018-2024-3. Epub 2018 Nov 30.


To stratify diverse procedure types into categories with similar radiation exposure in cardiac catheterization for congenital heart disease. Radiation exposures for a comprehensive list of specific procedure types and stratification of outcomes based on radiation risk are not currently available. Data between January 2014 and December 2015 were collected on all cases performed at sites participating in C3PO-QI (Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Outcomes Project-Quality Improvement Initiative) and 9 centers were included. Using expert consensus, 40 unique procedure types were defined by diagnostic characteristics or the intervention(s) performed, and dose area product (DAP) per kilogram of body weight (µGy × m2/kg) was summarized. Using empiric and consensus methods, three radiation risk categories were created. A total of 11,735 cases were included for analysis. Thirteen (n = 7918) procedure types with median DAP/kg < 100 were categorized in the low radiation exposure category (median DAP/kg 39). The medium exposure category (n = 1807) consisted of 16 procedure types with median DAP/kg values ranging 100 to < 200 (overall median DAP/kg 131). Finally, the high radiation exposure category (n = 1073) consisted of 11 procedure types with median DAP/kg ≥ 200 (overall median DAP/kg of 231). The radiation exposure risk categories created in this multi-center dataset are a critical step towards the development of a robust risk adjustment methodology for radiation exposure in catheterization for congenital heart disease.

Keywords: Comparative Effectiveness/Patient Centered Outcomes Research; Congenital Heart Disease; Imaging, angiographic/fluoroscopic; Pediatric intervention; Pediatrics; Radiation risk.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consensus
  • Fluoroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Improvement
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Exposure*
  • Radiography, Interventional / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult