Reduction of radiation exposure while maintaining high-quality fluoroscopic images during interventional cardiology using novel x-ray tube technology with extra beam filtering.
BACKGROUND Radiographic technology plays an integral role in interventional cardiology. The number of interventions continues to increase, and the associated radiation exposure to patients and personnel is of major concern. This study was undertaken to determine whether a newly developed x-ray tube deploying grid-switched pulsed fluoroscopy and extra beam filtering can achieve a reduction in radiation exposure while maintaining fluoroscopic images of high quality.
METHODS AND RESULTS Three fluoroscopic techniques were compared: continuous fluoroscopy, pulsed fluoroscopy, and a newly developed high-output pulsed fluoroscopy with extra filtering. To ascertain differences in the quality of images and to determine differences in patient entrance and investigator radiation exposure, the radiated volume curve was measured to determine the required high voltage levels (kVpeak) for different object sizes for each fluoroscopic mode. The fluoroscopic data of 124 patient procedures were combined. The data were analyzed for radiographic projections, image intensifier field size, and x-ray tube kilovoltage levels (kVpeak). On the basis of this analysis, a reference procedure was constructed. The reference procedure was tested on a phantom or dummy patient by all three fluoroscopic modes. The phantom was so designed that the kilovoltage requirements for each projection were comparable to those needed for the average patient. Radiation exposure of the operator and patient was measured during each mode. The patient entrance dose was measured in air, and the operator dose was measured by 18 dosimeters on a dummy operator. Pulsed compared with continuous fluoroscopy could be performed with improved image quality at lower kilovoltages. The patient entrance dose was reduced by 21% and the operator dose by 54%. High-output pulsed fluoroscopy with extra beam filtering compared with continuous fluoroscopy improved the image quality, lowered the kilovoltage requirements, and reduced the patient entrance dose by 55% and the operator dose by 69%.
CONCLUSIONS High-output pulsed fluoroscopy with a grid-switched tube and extra filtering improves the image quality and significantly reduces both the operator dose and patient dose.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association