Understanding the Basis of Radiation Protection for Endovascular Procedures: Occupational and Patients

EJVES Vasc Forum . 2021 Apr 20;51:20-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvsvf.2021.03.001. eCollection 2021.

Fecha de la publicación: 20/04/2021

Autor: Rodrigo Rial (1), Eliseo Vañó (2)

Palabras clave: Diagnostic reference level, Distance shielding time, Dosimetry, Occupational radiation protection, Patient radiation protection, Radiation dose



1Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University Hospital HM Torrelodones, Madrid, Spain.

2Radiology Department Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.


Introduction: Some concepts of radiation protection are not well understood and must be refreshed periodically. The basic knowledge that a vascular surgeon must have about radiation protection for patients and staff is summarised.

Report: Diagnostic reference levels are a form of investigation into the medical exposure of patients during diagnostic and endovascular procedures that help to optimise them. Radiological quantities such as dose area product, also known as kerma area product and cumulative dose, are the most relevant to the patient. Equivalent dose, in mSv, determines the dose limits for staff. The effective dose (related to absorbed dose), also in mSv, represents the global risk of cancer and hereditary effects. For patient protection, the most important factors are fluoroscopy time, collimation, magnification, keeping the patient as near as possible to the image detector and as far as possible away from the tube, and trying to work in fluoroscope mode. Regarding occupational protection, distance, shielding, and dosimetry are the most important.

Discussion: With the increased use of endovascular procedures, radiation protection is an issue that has grown in importance. Radiation protection is based on three principles: justification; optimisation; and dose limits. Every action focused on reducing a patient’s radiation dose will also reduce the dose to staff. Basic principles such as «the further away the better», «always use a lead apron, thyroid protector, and lead glasses», and «do not forget to wear personal dosimeters» must be remembered at all times.