- Exposure to ionizing radiation is a consequence of many diagnostic and interventional cardiac procedures. Radiation exposure can result in detrimental health effects because of deterministic (eg, skin reaction) and stochastic effects (eg, cancer). However, with the levels experienced during cardiac procedures these risks can be difficult to quantify. Healthcare providers and patients might not fully appreciate radiation-related risks. Though in many cases radiation exposure cannot be avoided, a practice of minimizing exposures to levels "as low as reasonably achievable" (ALARA principle) without compromising the utility of the procedure is encouraged. The purpose of this document is to inform health care providers on the key concepts related to radiation risk from common cardiac procedures and provide specific recommendations on ensuring quality of care.