Radiation dose monitoring in pediatric fluoroscopy: comparison of fluoroscopy time and dose–area product thresholds for identifying high-exposure cases
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Fluoroscopy time has been used as a surrogate for radiation dose monitoring in pediatric fluoroscopy; however it does not account for factors such as magnification or collimation. Dose–area product (DAP) is a more accurate measure of radiation exposure but its dependence on patient weight and body-part thickness is a challenge in children of varying ages.
To determine whether fluoroscopy time and DAP produce concurrent results when they are used to identify high-exposure cases, and to establish radiation dose thresholds for our institution.
Materials and methods
During a 2-year period we prospectively monitored pediatric fluoroscopy studies performed at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. We recorded study type, fluoroscopy time, DAP, patient age, weight and height. We then calculated 90th percentile fluoroscopy time and DAP thresholds for weight and age.
We evaluated 1,011 cases (453 upper gastrointestinal [UGI] series, 266 voiding cystourethrograms [VCUGs], 120 contrast enemas, 108 speech studies, and 64 esophagrams). Fluoroscopy time demonstrated moderate correlation with DAP (rs=0.45, P<0.001, Spearman rank). DAP strongly correlated with patient weight (rs=0.71, P<0.001) and age (rs=0.70, P<0.001). Concordance of cases exceeding 90th percentile thresholds for fluoroscopy time and DAP were κ=0.27 for UGI series and κ=0.49 for VCUG for weight-based cutoffs, and κ=0.36 for UGI series and κ=0.40 for VCUG for age-based cutoffs.
The limited correlation of fluoroscopy time with DAP suggests these methods are not equivalent for dose monitoring. However, the strong correlation of DAP with patient weight and age presents a challenge for establishing DAP thresholds in children, who range widely in size. Despite controlling for weight or age, there was limited overlap of cases exceeding the 90th percentile threshold for fluoroscopy time and DAP. This further reinforces the non-overlapping outcome of these two methods and indicates that fluoroscopy time might be inadequate for dose monitoring.
KeywordsChildren Dose–area product Fluoroscopy Radiation dose Upper gastrointestinal series Voiding cystourethrography
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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