Purpose: This clinical study compares conventional lead aprons and ancillary shields to a functionally weightless personal overhead-supported system with expanded coverage.Materials and Methods: Primary operators performed procedures (N=126, fluoroscopy minutes=1209) using one of 2 methods of radiation protection and wearing dosimeters on multiple body locations. Method “LAS” (Lead-Apron+Shields): lead skirt, vest, thyroid shield, with 100% use of under-table shield, side shield, and mobile suspended lead-acrylic shield. Method “Zgrav”: ZeroGravity system (CFI Medical Solutions) with variable use of shielding. The studied early model moving with the operator had a curved lead-acrylic head shield (0.5 mm Pb) and expansive lead apron (0.5-1.0 mm Pb) that covered leg to distal calf and proximal arm to elbow, and a drape that permitted sterile entry and exit. Study was institutional review board approved and HIPPA-compliant. Results: Measured with a sensitive electronic dosimeter, eye exposures were 99% (P<0.001) reduced for Zgrav with upgraded face shield vs. LAS, regardless of use or non-use of suspended shield with Zgrav. With optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimeters, operator exposures, standardized to minutes of fluoroscopy and Fluoroscopic Patient Dose Area Product, were reduced by 87%-100% for eye & head, neck, humerus, and tibia (Zgrav vs. LAS). Overall eye & head exposure reduction for entire study was 94%. Non-equivalence of torso exposures was not demonstrated. A brief user survey showed ergonomic advantages of Zgrav.Conclusion: Compared to conventional lead aprons with shields, the suspended system provided superior operator protection during interventional fluoroscopy, allowing operators to perform procedures without potentially obstructive shields.
Cite this paper
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