SUMMARY We measured the radiation exposure received by a group of operators performing 700 coronary angiograms. All studies were performed using the brachial artery approach and the Philips Cardio Diagnost. Nineteen sites were monitored on each operator, using lithiulm fluoride thermoluminescent dosimeters. Four hundred examinations were performed with a table-mounted protective shield in place. Three hundred were performed without the shield. The average exposures (in mR per study) with and without the shield were 1.9/6 for the eyes and 1.4/8.3 for the thyroid.
The resulting operator exposure with the shield in place is low enough so that an operator performing 25 procedures per week on a continuous basis will not exceed the recommendations of the National Commission on Radiological Protection and Units. We therefore strongly recommend the use of a properly designed and appropriately positioned shield with all U-arm systems.