Background: Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is indispensable in cardiology; however, exposure to potentially harmful ionising radiation remains a concern.
Aims: This study was designed to assess the PCI-related radiation dose over the last decade and to identify predictors of increased dose exposure.
Methods: The PROcedural radiaTion dose Exposure in percutaneous Coronary intervenTION (PROTECTION VIII) study included all PCIs reported to a German quality assurance programme between 2008 and 2018. Dose area product (DAP) and radiation time were analysed. Effective dose (ED) was estimated (ED=DAP*k; conversion coefficient k=0.0022 mSv/cGy*cm2). Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to identify predictors associated with a clinically relevant increase of radiation dose (ED ≥1 mSv).
Results: We enrolled 3,704,986 patients undergoing PCI (median age 70 years, 30% female). Indications were chronic coronary syndrome (37.5%), unstable angina pectoris and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (non-STEMI; 33.2%) and STEMI (18.5%). Median DAP was 4,203 (interquartile range [IQR] 2,313-7,300) cGy*cm, ED was 9.2 mSv and median radiation time was 9.2 (IQR 5.8-15.0) min. Within the 10-year period, radiation exposure was reduced by 36% (p<0.001) and resulted in a median DAP of 3,070 cGy*cm (ED 6.8 mSv) in 2018. A significant 5.3-fold variability of median DAP was observed between catheterisation laboratories (p<0.001). We identified patient-related (gender, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, heart failure) and procedure-related (coronary occlusion PCI, ostial lesion PCI, left main PCI, multivessel PCI) predictors of increased radiation dose (all p<0.001).
Conclusions: This radiation dose survey demonstrates a considerable reduction of PCI radiation exposure during the last decade. However, large variability between catheterisation laboratories underlines the need for further radiation dose reduction.
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