Taller staff occupationally exposed to less radiation to the temple in cardiac procedures, but risk higher doses during vascular cases

Kelly S. Wilson-Stewart, Davide Fontanarosa, Dan Li, Chris C. Drovandi, Rebecca K. Anderson, Jamie V. Trapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to evaluate the effect of nurse and doctor height on occupational dose to the temple during fluoroscopically guided cardiovascular procedures. Additionally, an evaluation of the relationship between doctor height and table height was performed. Staff exposed during fluoroscopic procedures may be at elevated risk of cardiovascular damage or oncogenesis and have demonstrated a higher incidence of subscapular cataracts. The heads of taller staff may be exposed to reduced levels of radiation due to the increased distance from the area of highest intensity X-ray scatter. Limited research has been performed investigating height as a predictor of head dose to nursing staff. The level of radiation dose at the level of the temple to the doctor (n = 25), scrub (n = 28), and scout nurse (n = 29) was measured in a prospective single-center, observational study using Philips DoseAware badges. Procedural characteristics were recorded for vascular and cardiac cases performed in three dedicated angiography suites. Data were also collected to investigate relationships between doctor height and table height. Data were collected for 1585 cardiac and 294 vascular procedures. Staff height was a statistically significant predictor of temple dose for doctors, scrub, and scout nurses when considering the full data sample. The log temple dose demonstrated an inverse relationship to staff height during cardiac procedures, but a positive relationship for scrub and scout nurses during vascular studies. This observational study has demonstrated that taller staff are exposed to less cranial exposure dose during fluoroscopically guided cardiac examinations but has revealed a positive correlation between height and temple dose during vascular procedures. It was also determined that doctor height was correlated with average procedural table height and that vascular access point influences the choice of table elevation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16103
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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