Background: Long-term exposure to radiation can lead to gene mutations and increase the risk of cancer. Low rate fluoroscopy has the potential to reduce the radiation exposure for both the examiner and the patient during various fluoroscopic procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of low rate fluoroscopy on reducing an examiner's radiation dose during nerve root block. Methods: A total of 101 lumbar nerve root block examinations were performed at our institute during a 6-month period. During the first 3 months, low rate fluoroscopy was performed at 7.5 frames/s (FPS) in 54 examinations, while 47 were performed at 15 FPS during the last 3 months. The examiner wore a torso protector, a neck protector, radiation protection gloves, and radiation protection glasses. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimeter badges were placed on both the inside and the outside of each protector. The dosimeters were exchanged every month. Radiation doses (mSv) were measured as the integrated radiation quantity every month from the OSL dosimeters. The effective and equivalent doses for the hands, skin, and eyes were investigated. Results: The mean monthly equivalent doses were significantly lower both inside and outside the hand protector for the 7.5 FPS versus 15 FPS (inside; P = 0.021, outside; P = 0.024). There were no significant differences between the two groups for the mean monthly calculated effective dose for each protector's condition. Conclusions: Radiation exposure was significantly reduced for the skin on the examiner's hand when using low rate fluoroscopy at 7.5 FPS, with no noticeable decrease in image quality or prolonged fluoroscopy time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine