Real-Time Radiation Monitoring Reduces Patient, Cardiologist Exposure

RadiCure study evaluates device that beeps upon radiation exposure


June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014 — A real-time monitoring device that beeps in the presence of high doses of radiation can help reduce patient and interventional cardiologist exposure to radiation during cardiac catheterization, according to results of the RadiCure study presented as a late-breaking clinical trial at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2014 scientific sessions in Las Vegas.

Radiation exposure during cardiac catheterization can place both the patient and the physician at risk. Advances in imaging equipment have helped reduce patient exposure, but physician exposure is typically only measured months later. In the study presented at SCAI, researchers monitored physician and patient radiation exposure using a real-time, personal radiation monitoring device called the Bleeper Sv. The device sounds every 15 minutes in response to normal background radiation and increases its beep rate as radiation exposure increases.

For the study, 505 patients undergoing left cardiac catheterization procedures were randomized to use or not use the monitoring device. Procedure times and patient characteristics were comparable in both study groups. Following the procedure, patient and interventional cardiologist radiation exposure was measured.

Researchers found that compared to the control group, use of the monitoring device led to a significant decrease in operator exposure [0.9 (0.4-1.7) vs 1.4 (0.6-2.5) mrem, p<0.001 for the first operator and 0.5 (0.2-1.0) vs 0.7 (0.4-1.4) mrem, p<0.001 for the second operator]. Patient radiation exposure did not differ significantly between the two groups; however, there was a trend for lower Air Kerma and Dose Area Product radiation in the Bleeper Sv group [0.855 (0.58-1.507) vs 0.989 (0.610-1.802) Gray, p=0.153 and 76.68 (52.98-133.53) vs 84.61 (55.37-161.20) Gray*cm2, p=0.125, respectively].

“Use of a personal radiation monitoring device that provides auditory feedback helps reduce both the patient and the interventional cardiologist’s exposure,” said Georgios Christopoulos, M.D., research fellow at VA North Texas Health Care System and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“The device allows for immediate reaction that can limit exposure, unlike current monitoring that physicians undergo months after exposure,” said Emmanouil Brilakis, M.D., Ph.D., FSCAI, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratories at VA North Texas Health Care System, associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the study’s principal investigator.

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