PULSED RADIOFREQUENCY (PRF) THERAPY IN SPINAL PAIN MANAGEMENT: A DIRECT APPROACH TO REDUCTION IN OCCUPATIONAL RADIATION EXPOSURE
Keywords:diagnostic imaging, radiography education, research
A method of optimising radiation protection methods for clinical staff was sought after temporary skin changes and radiation dose measurements suggested dose limits were being exceeded. Scatter radiation emitted from the patient, during the relatively new fluoroscopically guided pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) therapy procedures, was identified as the probable cause of this increased exposure. The aim of this study was to quantify the benefits of a secondary radiation barrier, in the form of customised re-usable radiation-resistant shields, in reducing radiation dose to clinical personnel. Sub-problems assessed were the possible technical difficulty involved in potential interference by the shield with field-of-view of the attending specialist and the risk of cross-infection.
The objective was to reduce high occupational radiation exposure.
Materials and methods: Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) and a ring dosimeter were used for dose measurements. A detailed log of clinical details was kept. A set of four customised shields were implemented and data collected on 275 lesions treated over six months. Summated procedural time was 97 hours.
Results: Results demonstrated a 69% reduction in the amount of backscatter radiation reaching the neurosurgeon. Shields were practical to implement in 87.5% of procedures. Deep dose and thyroid dose results were within limits but suggested a higher than expected lens dose. No instances of disturbed field-of-view of the specialist, or of cross-infection, were recorded.
Conclusion: This study concludes that the shields are effective to implement and achieve considerable reduction in scatter radiation dose to clinical staff. Further study into uses of the shields during other interventional fluoroscopically guided procedures, and investigation into clinician lens dose, may be warranted.
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