Reduction in operator radiation exposure during transradial coronary procedures using a simple lead rectangle Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives: Transradial access for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) reduces procedural complications however, there are concerns regarding the potential for increased exposure to ionizing radiation to the primary operator. We evaluated the efficacy of a lead-attenuator in reducing radiation exposure during transradial PCI. Methods and results: This was a non-randomized, prospective, observational study in which 52 consecutive patients were assigned to either standard operator protection (n = 26) or the addition of the lead attenuator across their abdomen/pelvis (n = 26). In the attenuator group patients were relatively older with a higher prevalence of peripheral vascular disease (67.9 vs 58.7 p = 0.0292 and 12% vs 7.6% p < 0.001 respectively). Despite similar average fluoroscopy times (12.3 ± 9.8 min vs. 9.3 ± 5.4 min, p = 0.175) and average examination doses (111866 ± 80790 vs. 91,268 ± 47916 Gycm2, p = 0.2688), the total radiation exposure to the operator, at the thyroid level, was significantly lower when the lead-attenuator was utilized (20.2% p < 0.0001) as compared to the control group. Amongst the 26 patients assigned to the lead-attenuator, there was a significant reduction in measured radiation of 94.5% (p < 0.0001), above as compared to underneath the lead attenuator. Conclusions: Additional protection with the use of a lead rectangle-attenuator significantly lowered radiation exposure to the primary operator, which may confer long-term benefits in reducing radiation-induced injury. Advances in knowledge: This is the first paper to show that a simple lead attenuator almost completely reduced the scattered radiation at very close proximity to the patient and should be considered as part of the standard equipment within catheterization laboratories.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017