To evaluate radiation exposure of dogs and cats undergoing procedures requiring intraoperative fluoroscopy and for operators performing those procedures.
360 fluoroscopic procedures performed at 2 academic institutions between 2012 and 2015.
Fluoroscopic procedures were classified as vascular, urinary, respiratory, cardiac, gastrointestinal, and orthopedic. Fluoroscopy operators were classified as interventional radiology-trained clinicians, orthopedic surgeons, soft tissue surgeons, internists, and cardiologists. Total radiation exposure in milligrays and total fluoroscopy time in minutes were obtained from dose reports for 4 C-arm units. Kruskal-Wallis equality of populations rank tests and Dunn pairwise comparisons were used to compare differences in time and exposure among procedures and operators.
Fluoroscopy time (median, 35.80 minutes; range, 0.60 to 84.70 minutes) was significantly greater and radiation exposure (median, 137.00 mGy; range, 3.00 to 617.51 mGy) was significantly higher for vascular procedures than for other procedures. Median total radiation exposure was significantly higher for procedures performed by interventional radiology-trained clinicians (16.10 mGy; range, 0.44 to 617.50 mGy), cardiologists (25.82 mGy; range, 0.33 to 287.45 mGy), and internists (25.24 mGy; range, 3.58 to 185.79 mGy).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Vascular fluoroscopic procedures were associated with significantly longer fluoroscopy time and higher radiation exposure than were other evaluated fluoroscopic procedures. Future studies should focus on quantitative radiation monitoring for patients and operators, importance of operator training, intraoperative safety measures, and protocols for postoperative monitoring of patients.