A study of patient radiation doses in interventional radiological procedures.
Patient radiation doses received during interventional radiological procedures can be significant. To aid in the establishment of reference dose levels, a patient dose survey has been conducted of such procedures. A total of 288 non-coronary procedures (177 classified as diagnostic and 111 as therapeutic) were accrued into the study. For each procedure, the fluoroscopy screening time and the fluoroscopic and digital radiographic dose-area products were recorded in a computer database. For example, median dose-area product values (due to fluoroscopy and digital radiography combined) of 24.2, 27.9, 69.6 and 74.7 Gy cm2 were obtained for nephrostomy, biliary stent removal/insertion, cerebral angiography and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography procedures. While the effective dose is not an accurate measure of patient risk, it is convenient for comparing the radiological risks associated with various procedures. Effective doses were estimated from the total dose-area products. The respective median estimated effective dose values for the four procedures noted above were 3.9, 4.5, 7.0 and 12.0 mSv. While an infrequently performed procedure at this institution (n = 4 during this survey), the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedure had the greatest median dose-area product and effective dose values: 347 Gy cm2 and 55.5 mSv, respectively. Excluding the extreme case of TIPS, it was found that among commonly-performed procedures, those that are categorized as therapeutic do not necessarily present a statistically significant greater radiation risk than those which are diagnostic. Comparisons between dose-area product values obtained from this study are made with data from other interventional radiology patient dose surveys and reasons for some differences noted are discussed.