Indexed on: 11 Nov '08Published on: 11 Nov '08Published in: Annals of Vascular Surgery
With the increasing complexity of endovascular procedures, concern has grown regarding patient radiation exposure. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair represents the most common complex endovascular procedure currently performed by vascular specialists. Our study evaluates the patient radiation dose received during endovascular AAA repair. Over a 3-month period we prospectively monitored the radiation dose in a series of consecutive patients undergoing endovascular AAA repair. All patients underwent standard endovascular AAA repair with one of two commercially available grafts using the GE OEC 9800 unit. Direct measurement of maximum radiation dose at skin level (peak skin dose, PSD) was recorded using GAFCHROMIC radiographic dosimetry film. Indirect measurements of radiation dose (fluoroscopy time and dose-area-product [DAP]) were recorded with the C-arm dosimeter. A total of 12 consecutive patients undergoing standard endovascular AAA repair were evaluated. Mean PSD was 0.75 Gy (range 0.27-1.25). Mean total fluoroscopy time was 20.6 min (range 12.6-34.2) with an average of 92% spent in standard fluoroscopy and 8% spent in cinefluoroscopy. Regarding total fluoroscopy time, 49% was spent in normal field of view and 51% in magnified view. Mean DAP was 15,166 cGy x cm(2) (range 5,207-24,536). PSD correlated with DAP (r = 0.9, p < 0.05) but not total fluoroscopy time (r = 0.18, p > 0.05). PSD also correlated with body mass index (BMI; r = 0.82, p < 0.05). Obese patients had a mean PSD of 1.1 Gy compared to 0.5 Gy in nonobese patients. PSD of all patients was well below the accepted 2.0 Gy threshold for skin injury. PSD correlated with DAP but not total fluoroscopy time. PSD also correlated with BMI, and the mean PSD was significantly increased in obese compared to nonobese patients. Despite the complexity and duration of endovascular AAA repair, the procedure can be performed safely without excessive radiation exposure.