Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Patient radiation exposure during diagnostic and therapeutic interventional neuroradiology procedures
  1. M D Alexander1,
  2. M C Oliff1,
  3. O G Olorunsola1,
  4. M Brus-Ramer1,
  5. E L Nickoloff2,
  6. P M Meyers2,3
  1. 1Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA
  3. 3Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr M D Alexander, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA; mda2119{at}


Purpose Increasing in number and complexity, interventional neuroradiology (INR) procedures are becoming an important source of radiation exposure for patients. In accordance with the ALARA principle, radiation exposure during INR procedures should be curtailed as much as possible while reaching successful treatment outcomes. Moreover, the extent of radiation exposure should be one outcome measure used to assess new technologies and procedural efficacy, and training programs should include techniques for exposure limitation. This study provides a methodology and preliminary data to assess radiation exposure during different INR procedure types.

Materials and methods All patients undergoing endovascular procedures in two biplanar dedicated neuroangiography suites at a major academic medical center were monitored according to procedure type, pathological indication, fluoroscopy time and machine-generated patient dose estimates between April 2006 and July 2008.

Results 1678 patients underwent cerebral arteriography during the study period. Women (62.1%) accounted for the majority of patients, but men (38.9%) were more likely to undergo an interventional procedure than women (32.8%). Diagnostic studies accounted for 64.9% of procedures. Variable exposures were found between diagnostic and interventional procedures. Exposure differed depending on indications for the procedure and procedure type.

Conclusion Radiation exposure is an increasingly important consideration in the development of minimally invasive neurological procedures including cerebral angiography and INR. The type of procedure and lesion type allow the practitioner to estimate radiation exposure. Such information informs the clinical decision making process. Normative data should be collected and used for comparison purposes as one measure of technical and procedural success.

  • Interventions and basic science
  • standards

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors MDA, MCO and OGO contributed equally.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.