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A summary of recommendations for occupational radiation protection in interventional cardiology


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Correspondence to: John Le Heron, BSc(Hons), FACPSEM, Radiation Protection of Patients Unit, Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna A-1400, Austria. E-mail:


The radiation dose received by cardiologists during percutaneous coronary interventions, electrophysiology procedures, and other interventional cardiology procedures can vary by more than an order of magnitude for the same type of procedure and for similar patient doses. There is particular concern regarding occupational dose to the lens of the eye. This document provides recommendations for occupational radiation protection for physicians and other staff in the interventional suite. Simple methods for reducing or minimizing occupational radiation dose include minimizing fluoroscopy time and the number of acquired images; using available patient dose reduction technologies; using good imaging-chain geometry; collimating; avoiding high-scatter areas; using protective shielding; using imaging equipment whose performance is controlled through a quality assurance program; and wearing personal dosimeters so that you know your dose. Effective use of these methods requires both appropriate education and training in radiation protection for all interventional cardiology personnel, and the availability of appropriate protective tools and equipment. Regular review and investigation of personnel monitoring results, accompanied as appropriate by changes in how procedures are performed and equipment used, will ensure continual improvement in the practice of radiation protection in the interventional suite. These recommendations for occupational radiation protection in interventional cardiology and electrophysiology have been endorsed by the Asian Pacific Society of Interventional Cardiology, the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions, the Latin American Society of Interventional Cardiology, and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.