Occupational exposure to physicians working with a Zero-Gravity™ protection system in haemodynamic and electrophysiology labs and the assessment of its performance against a standard ceiling suspended shield


A two centre clinical study was performed to analyse exposure levels of cardiac physicians performing electrophysiology and haemodynamic procedures with the use of state of the art Zero-Gravity™ radiation protective system (ZG). The effectiveness of ZG was compared against the commonly used ceiling suspended lead shield (CSS) in a haemodynamic lab. The operator’s exposure was assessed using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) during both ablation (radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and cryoablation (CRYA)) and angiography and angioplasty procedures (CA/PCI). The dosimeters were placed in multiple body regions: near the left eye, on the left side of the neck, waist and chest, on both hands and ankles during each measurement performed with the use of ZG. In total 29 measurements were performed during 105 procedures. To compare the effectiveness of ZG against CSS an extra 80 measurements were performed with the standard lead apron, thyroid collar and ceiling suspended lead shield during CA/PCI procedures. For ZG, the upper values for the average eye lens and whole body doses per procedure were 4 µSv and 16 µSv for the left eye lens in electrophysiology lab (with additionally used CSS) and haemodynamic lab (without CSS), respectively, and about 10 µSv for the remaining body parts (neck, chest and waist) in both labs. The skin doses to hands and ankles non-protected by the ZG were 5 µSv for the most exposed left finger and left ankle in electrophysiology lab, while in haemodynamic lab 150 µSv and 17 µSv, respectively. The ZG performance was 3 times (p < 0.05) and at least 15 times (p < 0.05) higher for the eye lenses and thoracic region, respectively, compared to CSS (with dosimeters on the apron/collar). However, when only ZG was used slightly higher normalised doses were observed for the left finger compared to CSS (5.88e - 2 Sv/Gym2 vs. 4.31 e - 2 Sv/Gym2, p = 0.016). The study results indicate that ZG performance is superior to CSS. It can be simultaneously used with the ceiling suspended lead shield to ensure the protection to the hands as long as this is not obstructive for the work.

Authors: Joanna Domienik-Andrzejewska, Mateusz Mirowski, Marek Jastrzębski, Tomasz Górnik, Konrad Masiarek, Izabela Warchoł, Włodzimierz Grabowicz
; Full Source: Radiation and environmental biophysics 2022 Feb 26;1-8. doi: 10.1007/s00411-022-00968-4.