Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cardiologists dramatically cut patient radiation exposure from X-rays

Date:
August 20, 2012
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Each year, hundreds of thousands of X-rays are performed across the country to help detect and treat common cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease, valve disease and other heart problems. However, concern is growing within the medical community about the potential risks of radiation exposure from this imaging technology. Now, researchers have been able to dramatically cut the amount of radiation that patients and medical personnel are exposed to during invasive cardiovascular procedures.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of X-rays are performed across the country to help detect and treat common cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease, valve disease and other heart problems. However, concern is growing within the medical community about the potential risks of radiation exposure from this imaging technology. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic have been able to dramatically cut the amount of radiation that patients and medical personnel are exposed to during invasive cardiovascular procedures. The solution: targeted modifications to the use of standard X-ray equipment, coupled with intensive radiation safety training.

The efforts are detailed in a paper published online Aug. 20 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

"Through our efforts, we were able to quickly cut the overall radiation exposure to patients by nearly half using simple but effective methods," said Charanjit Rihal, M.D., chair of Mayo's Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. "We think this program could serve as a useful model for other cath labs in the U.S."

Cardiologists rely on X-ray images to identify heart problems and provide real-time guidance for procedures such as implanting stents to open narrowed arteries and aortic valve replacement. However, radiation from X-rays can be harmful. It can injure the skin if not administered judiciously, and can also damage DNA, which can increase the risk of certain cancers.

The amount of radiation used in a procedure should not exceed the minimum necessary, Dr. Rihal says. Recognizing this, Mayo instituted a broad-based program that has raised awareness about radiation safety and changed the way standard X-ray systems are used in the cath lab. For example, medical staff now set the radiation output of their systems to a very low setting, minimizing the radiation dose to their patients. They only increase the radiation dose if higher-quality images are needed, such as temporarily during a critical portion of a procedure. As a result, they can obtain useful images while lowering radiation exposure.

In addition, practice-wide radiation safety is now included when training fellows and junior faculty. The cath lab teams also are informed of the radiation dose delivered to patients during each procedure. Radiation exposure is routinely reported in the patient's medical record.

"The reductions in the radiation dose administered to patients occurred practice-wide and across diverse procedures," says Kenneth Fetterly, Ph.D., Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. Dr. Fetterly says the initiative is part of Mayo's ongoing commitment to patient safety.

The changes implemented by Mayo go well beyond standard procedures used in hospitals across the country. Buy-in across the practice is needed for such programs to succeed, Dr. Fetterly says. Success also requires physicians to shift their expectations from attaining the highest image quality to focusing on lower radiation exposure and accepting adequate image quality.

A total of 18,115 procedures at Mayo were performed by 27 staff cardiologists and 65 fellows-in-training over the three years of the study. Researchers calculated and then compared the cumulative skin dose (defined as the sum of radiation doses delivered from low dose rate imaging used to guide interventional procedures and higher dose rate diagnostic imaging) for procedures performed during the first and last quarters of the study period. Considering all procedures, researchers found a 40 percent reduction in radiation exposure on average over three years. The decrease for percutaneous coronary intervention, coronary angiography, non-cardiac vascular interventions and interventions to treat structural heart disease ranged from 34 to 53 percent.

"We need radiation to be able to see what we are doing in a patient, so X-ray imaging has a definite benefit, but excessive doses of radiation can cause problems," says Dr. Rihal. "These are good procedures. We just made them safer."

Currently, radiation dose reduction initiatives are under way in all Mayo cath labs in Minnesota, Florida, Arizona and Wisconsin.

Other Mayo study authors are Verghese Mathew, M.D., Ryan Lennon, Malcolm Bell, M.D., and David Holmes, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kenneth A. Fetterly, Verghese Mathew, Ryan Lennon, Malcolm R. Bell, David R. Holmes, Charanjit S. Rihal. Radiation Dose Reduction in the Invasive Cardiovascular Laboratory. JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, 2012; 5 (8): 866 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcin.2012.05.003

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Cardiologists dramatically cut patient radiation exposure from X-rays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816110800.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2012, August 20). Cardiologists dramatically cut patient radiation exposure from X-rays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816110800.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Cardiologists dramatically cut patient radiation exposure from X-rays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816110800.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins