In this study the authors evaluated levels of radiation exposure to surgeons’ protected and unprotected hands during fluoroscopically assisted vertebroplasty.
The amount of radiation administered to 30 patients during 41 procedures in a controlled prospective trial over 6 months was assessed, comparing radiation exposure to the right and left hands in two neurosurgeons. Effective skin doses were evaluated using thermoluminescent finger dosimeters (ring dosimeters). The ratios of finger dosimeter exposure were compared between the glove-protected and unprotected left hands of two surgeons and both unprotected right hands. In addition, dose-area product (DAP) and fluoroscopy times were recorded in all patients.
The mean treatment-effective dose to the surgeons’ hands was 0.49 ± 0.4 mSv in the glove-protected left hand and 1.81 ± 1.31 mSv in the unprotected left hand (p < 0.05). The mean effective hand doses were 0.59 ± 0.55 mSv in the unprotected right hand of the glove-protected surgeon and 0.62 ± 0.55 mSv in the unprotected right hand of the control surgeon. The total corresponding fluoroscopy time was 38.55 minutes for the protected surgeon and 41.23 minutes for the unprotected one (p > 0.05). Lead glove shielding resulted in a radiation dose reduction of 75%. The total DAP for all procedures was 256,496 mGy/cm2 and 221,408 mGy/cm2 (p >0.05) for the protected and unprotected surgeons, respectively.
This study emphasizes the importance of surgeons wearing lead glove protection on their leading hands during percutaneous vertebroplasty procedures and demonstrates a 75% reduction rate of exposure to radiation.