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Research

Postgrad Med J. 2005 Oct;81(960):660-2.

Radiation exposure to personnel performing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

Naidu LS1, Singhal S, Preece DE, Vohrah A, Loft DE.

Background

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) relies on the use of ionising radiation but risks to operator and patient associated with radiation exposure are unclear. The aim of this prospective study was to estimate the radiation dose received by personnel performing fluoroscopic endoscopic procedures, mainly ERCP.

Methods

Consecutive procedures over a two month period were included. The use of thermoluminescent dosimeters to measure radiation exposure to the abdomen, thyroid gland, and hands of the operator permitted an estimation of the annual whole body effective dose equivalent.

Results

During the study period 66 procedures (61 ERCP) were performed and the estimated annual whole body effective dose equivalent received by consultant operators ranged between 3.35 and 5.87 mSv. These values are similar to those received by patients undergoing barium studies and equate to an estimated additional lifetime fatal cancer risk between 1 in 7000 and 1 in 3500. While within legal safety limits for radiation exposure to personnel, these doses are higher than values deemed acceptable for the general public.

Conclusion

It is suggested that personnel as well as patients may be exposed to significant values of radiation during ERCP. The study emphasises the need to carefully assess the indication for, and to use measures that minimise radiation exposure during any fluoroscopic procedure.

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