Because fluoroscopy is able to display continuous x-ray images in real time and capture dynamic processes in the body as they occur, fluoroscopic applications in medicine continue to play an important role for both diagnostic and interventional procedures. Radiation doses and the risk of radiation-related injury are typically higher with interventional procedures than with conventional barium contrast studies due to the greater complexity and longer duration of fluoroscopy time that is typically required. As with all radiation, however, there is a risk to the patient, operating fluoroscopy technologist, assistant radiographer, and ancillary support staff of overexposure due to continuous ionizing radiation. A host of government agencies and professional societies have established safe radiation thresholds for patients undergoing procedures with related fluoroscopy, as well as occupational doses for operators. This article discusses these changes, and provides updates on radiation dose monitoring and reduction techniques that are currently utilized in fluoroscopic procedures.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Define dose limits and summarize radiation safety concepts related to fluoroscopic imaging, including guidelines established by accreditation groups for radiation safety in fluoroscopy.
- Understand how radiation dose is collected and analyzed from a fluoroscopic procedure.
- Discuss dose optimization techniques and documentation, as well as the importance of equipment maintenance and establishing quality assurance protocol guidelines.
- Describe how radiation dose in fluoroscopy is documented and both pre- and postprocedure protocols that should be in place.
Categories: Fluoroscopy, Radiation Safety/Protection