Operator Lower Leg Radiation Dose during Fluoroscopically Guided Interventions is Effectively Reduced by Wearing Lead-Equivalent Leg Wraps

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Background: The intensity of radiation scatter that emanates from the X-ray beam during fluoroscopically guided interventions is greater below the fluoroscopy table than above. Yet interventionalists' lower legs are typically unshielded and table skirts are often positioned incorrectly. We sought to characterize the efficacy of the leg protector wraps (Leg Wraps, Burlington Medical Inc.) in reducing the radiation dose to the operator's lower leg during fenestrated and branched endovascular aneurysm repair (F-BEVAR). Methods: A prospective cohort study was performed evaluating the lower leg radiation dose reduction of one vascular surgeon during F/BEVAR using antimony/bismuth Enviro-Lite leg wraps (0.35 mm lead equivalency, 99.7% attenuation at 50 kVp; Burlington Medical, Hampton Roads, Virginia). Optically Stimulated Luminescence nanoDot detectors (microSTARii System, LANDAUER, Inc., Glenwood, Illinois) were placed over and under the left leg wrap at the anterior tibial tuberosity position to compare operator leg dose with and without this additional protection. The table-mounted lead skirt was used consistently in all cases. The nanoDot detectors were cross-calibrated with a survey meter (RaySafe X2 survey sensor, Fluke Biomedical, Cleveland, Ohio) by measuring scattered radiation at a position equivalent to an operator's mid-tibia while performing digital acquisitions of a 25-cm thick, 30 cm × 30 cm acrylic phantom with a Philips FD20 fluoroscope (Philips Healthcare, Best, The Netherlands) with the table skirt removed. The measured radiation doses were converted to a Hp (0.07) skin dose, assuming an RQR6 beam spectrum (IEC-61267). Paired Wilcoxon test was performed to identify significant attenuation of radiation exposure. Results: Leg dose measurements from 40 F-BEVARs were analyzed. The patients had a median (interquartile range) body mass index of 27 (24–32) kg/m2. Median procedure reference air kerma was 1,100 (728–1,601) mGy, kerma-area product was 127 (73–184) Gycm2, and fluoroscopy time was 69 (54–86) min. The median skin dose Hp (0.07) over the leg wraps (n = 40) was 54.2 (24–100) μSv and under the leg wraps (n = 40) was 2.7 μSv (1.0–5.8). The leg wraps attenuated the radiation dose by 95% (89–98%) (P < 0.001). The unprotected, Hp (0.07) per kerma-area product was determined to be 0.38 (0.30–0.55) μSv/Gycm2. Conclusions: The 0.35-mm lead-equivalent leg wraps significantly decreased scattered radiation to the lower leg during F-BEVAR. Protective leg wraps should be recommended to operators performing complex fluoroscopically guided procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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