The impact of patient obesity on scrub technologist radiation dose during coronary angiographyhas not been adequately studied.
Real-time radiation exposure data were prospectively collected during consecutive coronary angiography cases. Patient radiation dose was estimated by dose area product (DAP). Technologist radiation dose was recorded by a dosimeter as the personal dose equivalent (Hp(10)). Patients were categorized according to their body mass index (BMI): <25.0, lean; 25.0–29.9, overweight; ≥30.0, obese. The study had two phases: in Phase I (N = 351) standard radiation protection measures were used; and in Phase II (N = 268) standard radiation protection measures were combined with an accessory lead shield placed between the technologist and patient.
In 619 consecutive coronary angiography procedures, significant increases in patient and technologist radiation doses were observed across increasing patient BMI categories (p < 0.001 for both). Compared to lean patients, patient obesity was associated with a 1.7-fold increase in DAP (73.0 [52.7, 127.5] mGy × cm2 vs 43.6 [25.1, 65.7] mGy × cm2, p < 0.001) and a 1.8-fold increase in technologist radiation dose (1.1 [0.3, 2.7] μSv vs 0.6 [0.1, 1.6] μSv, p < 0.001). Compared to Phase I, use of an accessory lead shield in Phase II was associated with a 62.5% reduction in technologist radiation dose when used in obese patients (p < 0.001).
During coronary angiography procedures, patient obesity was associated with a significant increase in scrub technologist radiation dose. This increase in technologist radiation dose in obese patients may be mitigated by use of an accessory lead shield.