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Clinical Evaluation of the Zerogravity Radiation Protection System for Interventionalists. Marchal DA, Savage CM, Bruner A, et al. Peer-reviewed poster presentation at the 23rd Annual  International Symposium of Endovascular Therapy, Jan 16-20th, 2011,  Miami Beach, FL.


Material and Methods: A prototype of the overhead-supported ZeroGravity Radiation Protection System (CFI Medical Solutions) was used during normal clinical activity for 3 interventional radiologists in a university hospital, instead of a standard lead apron and thyroid shield. A sterile plastic drape permits the operator to quickly enter and exit while maintaining sterility. It has a curved lead-acrylic head shield (0.5 mm Pb) and lead apron that extends to the distal calves with flaps that hang over the arms to the elbows(1mm Pb centrally [63.5 X 69.3 cm],0.5 mm Pb peripherally). Commercial model is all 1 mm Pb except face shield. Primary operators performed cases from transfemoral, transjugular, transhepatic, and other approaches. Six sets of optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters were placed directly on the operator (IN) and corresponding locations outside of the device (OUT). Under table skirt shield was usually used, side-table skirt was sometimes used, and hanging lead-acrylic shield was never used.


Results: Procedures (N=37) resulted in operator exposures and corresponding OUT exposures shown in the Table.

Operator's exposures in clinical practice.

Location

IN (mSv)

OUT (mSv)

IN/OUT

Chest

0.03

7.04

0%

Hip (L Ant)

0.00

13.78

0%

Head (near eye)

0.20

3.68

6%

Neck

0.09

7.07

1%

Arm (dist hum)

0.67

10.77

6%

Tibia (distal)

0.15

5.82

3%



Operator exposures (IN) were 6% or less of OUT exposures in all locations, including many locations where standard lead aprons provide no protection.


Conclusions: There were substantial reductions of operator exposures for body areas normally exposed when wearing conventional lead aprons. Its weightless feature allows thicker Pb equivalencies and enhanced organ protection (arm, axilla, distal legs, complete neck and head). Direct comparison with traditional lead aprons in a clinical study is ongoing. Study limitations include poor accuracy of the badges for the low dose ranges of the shielded IN badges in these small sample sizes.

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