TU-D-209-07: Monte Carlo Assessment of Dose to the Lens of the Eye of Radiologist Using Realistic Phantoms and Eyeglass Models




To study how eyeglass design features and postures of the interventional radiologist affect the radiation dose to the lens of the eye.


A mesh-based deformable phantom, consisting of an ultra-fine eye model, was used to simulate postures of a radiologist in fluoroscopically guided interventional procedure (facing the patient, 45 degree to the left, and 45 degree to the right). Various eyewear design features were studied, including the shape, lead-equivalent thickness, and separation from the face. The MCNPX Monte Carlo code was used to simulate the X-ray source used for the transcatheter arterial chemoembolization procedure (The X-ray tube is located 35 cm from the ground, emitting X-rays toward to the ceiling; Field size is 40cm X 40cm; X-ray tube voltage is 90 kVp). Experiments were also performed using dosimeter placed on a physical phantom behind eyeglasses.


Without protective eyewear, the radiologist's eye lens can receive an annual dose equivalent of about 80 mSv. When wearing a pair of lead eyeglasses with lead-equivalent of 0.5-mm Pb, the annual dose equivalent of the eye lens is reduced to 31.47 mSv, but both exceed the new ICRP limit of 20 mSv. A face shield with a lead-equivalent of 0.125-mm Pb in the shape of a semi-cylinder (13cm in radius and 20-cm in height) would further reduce the exposure to the lens of the eye. Examination of postures and eyeglass features reveal surprising information, including that the glass-to-eye separation also plays an important role in the dose to the eye lens from scattered X-ray from underneath and the side. Results are in general agreement with measurements.


There is an urgent need to further understand the relationship between the radiation environment and the radiologist's eyewear and posture in order to provide necessary protection to the interventional radiologists under newly reduced dose limits.