A new study from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, shows that body size, gender and the complexity of heart disease can significantly influence how much cumulative radiation skin dose patients receive during angioplasty.

The retrospective study looked at 14 months of radiation data from 1,827 adult patients undergoing angioplasty and identified 20 clinical traits and circumstances that may help predict whether a patient likely received higher or lower doses of radiation.

Because it involves fluoroscopy and extended x-ray radiation exposure, angioplasty emits a significantly higher dose of radiation compared to a standard radiograph.

Among the Mayo study findings is that indicators of higher radiation dose included male gender higher body mass index (BMI); more complex disease, such as multiple diseased vessels or complex anatomy and lesions in the vessels; and previous history of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

In addition to patient variables, the data showed that radiation doses that comparable patients received differed depending on which of the 13 physicians treated them. Lead author, Chet Rihal, MD, said in the Mayo announcement that investigating possible causes of this particular finding is among the goals of the next phase of study.

“Radiation risk is a recognized hazard of our specialty that has not been systematically or aggressively addressed,” said Rihal. He added that the research would help efforts to formulate specific practice changes that clinicians can use to improve safety while maintaining quality.

See video interview with Dr. Rihal describing the research on the Mayo Clinic News Blog or on Youtube.


(Source: Press Release)