Radiation reduction during percutaneous coronary intervention: A new protocol with a low frame rate and selective fluoroscopic image storage

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The percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure is associated with potentially high levels of radiation exposure and therefore increased risk of adverse radiation-induced outcomes, ranging from cataract to malignancy. Frame rate reduction and selective fluoroscopy storage may help reduce radiation exposure. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of a radiation reduction protocol that uses a lower frame rate and selective storage of fluoroscopic images in terms of its effect on reducing the radiation dose during PCI.

The new protocol incorporated a lower frame rate as compared with the conventional protocol, and used selective storage of fluoroscopic images. We reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent PCI under the conventional protocol from January 2013 to December 2013, and compared them with those who underwent PCI with the new protocol from January 2015 to December 2015. The primary endpoint was radiation dose reduction expressed as cumulative air kerma and dose-area product (DAP). The image quality was assessed by 3 independent well-trained cardiologists.

One hundred fifty-five patients were enrolled in the conventional protocol group, and 152 were enrolled in the radiation reduction protocol group (total, n = 307). There was no statistical significance in terms of the baseline characteristics, including body mass index. Overall, the radiation reduction protocol group showed a significant reduction in both cumulative air kerma (1634.39 ± 717.95 vs 2074.75 ± 1003.72 mGy, P < .001) and DAP (12344.86 ± 5371.75 vs 15312.19 ± 7136.58 μGy m2, P < .001). Image quality was acceptable in both groups.

The radiation reduction protocol, which uses a lower frame rate and selective storage of fluoroscopic images, may be an alternative approach to reducing PCI radiation dose.

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