Radiation exposure of the spinal interventionalist performing fluoroscopically guided lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections ARCHIVES OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION Botwin, K. P., Thomas, S., Gruber, R. D., Torres, F. M., Bouchlas, C. C., Rittenberg, J. J., Rao, S. 2002; 83 (5): 697-701


To evaluate radiation exposure to spinal interventionalists while performing transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs).Prospective study.Multidisciplinary spine center.One hundred consecutive patients with either herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) or lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).Fluroscopically guided lumbar TFESIs.Radiation exposure was monitored by radiography technologists who allocated 4 dosimetry badges to all spinal interventionalists performing fluroscopically guided lumbar TFESIs on patients being treated for radicular pain. Badges were placed on the ring finger, glasses, and the inside and outside of the lead apron worn by the interventionalists. The radiography technologists also wore marked badges outside their lead aprons. One control badge was placed 67in away from the fluoroscopy table and a second badge was placed in a desk more than 500ft away from the procedure to monitor ambient radiation.The average fluoroscopy time per procedure was 15.16 seconds. The average exposure per procedure was 0.7mrem at the ring badge, 0.4mrem at the glasses badge, and 0.3mrem at the outside apron badge. No radiation was detectable at the inside apron or at the outside room control badge. The cumulative exposure to the interventionalists from all 100 procedures was 70mrem at the ring badge, 40mrem at the glasses badge, and 30mrem at the outside apron badge. The radiography technologists' average exposure during these procedures was below the limit of detectablility. Radiation time under fluoroscopy ranged from 5 to 38 seconds. The interventionalist's exposure to radiation was significantly greater during procedures conducted on patients with LSS then during procedures on patients with HNP.Adhering to a radiation safety program that includes maximizing the distance the spinal interventionalist is from the radiation source, decreasing exposure time, and proper shielding is essential when performing fluoroscopically guided lumbar TFESIs. Our study shows that exposure to radiation of the spinal interventionalist performing fluoroscopically guided lumbar TFESIs was well within safety limits when proper techniques were followed.

View details for DOI 10.1053/apmr.2002.32439

View details for Web of Science ID 000175494000016

View details for PubMedID 11994810