Singhal, S.; Naidu, L.; Preece, D.E.; Vohrah, A.; Loft, D.E.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA5
Academic Journal
Background: ERCP relies on the use of ionising radiation but the risks to operator and patient associated with radiation exposure (in terms of subsequent biological damage) are unclear. The aim of this prospective study was to estimate the radiation dose received by personnel performing fluoroscopic endoscopic procedures, mainly ERCP. Methods: Consecutive procedures over a 2 month period were included. The use of thermoluminescent dosemeters to measure radiation exposure to the abdomen, thyroid gland, and hands of the operator permitted an estimation of the annual whole body effective radiation dose (ED) equivalent to be made. Results: During the study period 66 fluoroscopic endoscopic procedures (61 ERCP) were performed and the estimated annual whole body ED equivalent received by consultant operators ranged between 3.35 and 5.87 mSv. These values are similar to those received by patients undergoing barium studies and equate to an estimated additional lifetime fatal cancer risk between 1 in 7000 and 1 in 3500. Although within the legal safety limits for radiation exposure to personnel, these radiation doses are considerably higher than the levels deemed acceptable for the general public. Conclusions: We suggest that personnel as well as patients may be exposed to significant levels of radiation during ERCP. We emphasise the need to carefully assess the indication for, and to employ measures that, minimising radiation exposure during any fluoroscopic.


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