A prospective case control comparison of the ZeroGravity system versus a standard lead apron as radiation protection strategy in neuroendovascular procedures

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Abstract

Background and purpose

We aimed to compare the performance of the ZeroGravity (ZG) system (radiation protection system composed by a suspended lead suit) against the use of standard protection (lead apron (LA), thyroid shield, lead eyeglasses, table skirts, and ceiling suspended shield) in neuroangiography procedures.

Materials and methods

Radiation exposure data were prospectively collected in consecutive neuroendovascular procedures between December 2014 and February 2015. Operator No 1 was assigned to the use of an LA (plus lead glasses, thyroid shield, and a 1 mm hanging shield at the groin) while operator No 2 utilized the ZG system. Dosimeters were used to measure peak skin dose for the head, thyroid, and left foot.

Results

The two operators performed a total of 122 procedures during the study period. The ZG operator was more commonly the primary operator compared with the LA operator (85% vs 71%; p=0.04). The mean anterior-posterior (AP), lateral, and cumulative dose area product (DAP) radiation exposure as well as the mean fluoroscopy time were not statistically different between the operators’ cases. The peak skin dose to the head of the operator with LA was 2.1 times higher (3380 vs 1600 μSv), while the thyroid was 13.9 (4460 vs 320 μSv), the mediastinum infinitely (520 vs 0 μSv), and the foot 3.3 times higher (4870 vs 1470 μSv) compared with the ZG operator, leading to an overall accumulated dose 4 times higher. The ratio of cumulative operator received dose/total cumulative DAP was 2.5 higher on the LA operator.

Conclusions

The ZG radiation protection system leads to substantially lower radiation exposure to the operator in neurointerventional procedures. However, substantial exposure may still occur at the level of the lens and thyroid to justify additional protection.

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