Determinants of operator radiation exposure during percutaneous coronary procedures

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Radiation exposure is an important issue for interventional cardiologists that is often underevaluated. Our aim was to evaluate determinants of operator radiation exposure during percutaneous coronary procedures.


The RADIANT (NCT01974453) is a prospective, single-center observational study involving 4 expert operators and 2 fellows performing percutaneous coronary procedures. The operator radiation dose was evaluated using dedicated electronic dosimeters in 2,028 procedures: 1,897 transradial access (TRA; 1,120 right and 777 left TRA) and 131 transfemoral access (TFA).


In the whole population, operator radiation dose at the thorax did not differ between TFA (9 μSv [interquartile range 5-18 μSv]) and TRA (9 μSv [4-21 μSv]), but after propensity score matching analysis, TFA showed lower dose (9 μSv [5-18 μSv]) compared with TRA (17 μSv [9-28 μSv], P < .001). In the whole transradial group, left TRA (5 μSv [2-12 μSv]) was associated with significant lower operator dose compared with right TRA (13 μSv [6-26 μSv], P < .001).The use of adjunctive protective pelvic drapes was significantly associated with lower radiation doses compared with procedures performed without drapes (P < .001). Among the operators, an inverse relation between height and dose was observed. Finally, left projections and the use of angiographic systems not dedicated for coronary and high frame rates were all associated with a significant higher operator radiation exposure.


In a high-volume center for transradial procedures, TFA is associated with lower operator radiation dose compared with TRA. The use of adjunctive anti-rx drapes seems a valuable tool to reduce the higher operator radiation exposure associated with TRA.

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