Effectiveness of the implementation of a simple radiation reduction protocol in the catheterization laboratory
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A reduction in radiation doses at the catheterization laboratory, maintaining the quality of procedures is essential. Our objective was to analyze the results of a simple radiation reduction protocol at a high-volume interventional cardiology unit. METHODS: We analyzed 1160 consecutive procedures: 580 performed before the implementation of the protocol and 580 after it. The protocol consisted in: the reduction of the number of ventriculographies and aortographies, the optimization of the collimation and the geometry of the X ray tube-patient-receptor, the use of low dose-rate fluoroscopy and the reduction of the number of cine sequences using the software "last fluoroscopy hold". RESULTS: There were no significant differences in clinical baseline features or in the procedural characteristics with the exception of a higher percentage of radial approach (30.7% vs 69.6%; p<0.001) and of percutaneous coronary interventions of chronic total occlusions after the implementation of the protocol (2.1% vs 6.7%; p=0,001). Angiographic success was similar during both periods (98.3% vs 99.2%; p=0.2). There were no significant differences between both periods regarding the overall duration of the procedures (26.9 vs 29.6min; p=0.14), or the fluoroscopy time (13.3 vs 13.2min; p=0.8). We observed a reduction in the percentage of procedures with ventriculography (80.9% vs 7.1%; p<0.0001) or aortography (15.4% vs 4.4%; p<0.0001), the cine runs (21.8 vs 6.9; p<0.0001) and the dose-area product (165 vs 71 Gyxcm(2); p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: With the implementation of a simple radiation reduction protocol, a 57% reduction of dose-area product was observed without a reduction in the quality or the complexity of procedures.