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Diagnostic Lead Apron Radiation Exposure Comparison Between Manufacture-Stated and Measurements

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J Syh

J Syh*, B Patel , J Syh , X Song , D Freund , X Ding , H Wu , Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Shreveport, LA


SU-E-I-56 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Several vendors of diagnostic lead apron used routinely in radiology/fluoroscopy claim to manufacture 0.5 mm lead equivalent shielding. The purpose of this investigation was to address the concern of the weight of lead aprons versus the radiation protection they provide.

Methods: Seven diagnostic lead aprons were measured and compared for their radiation transmission and attenuation characteristics. The measurements were performed on a Philips Integris. Two settings were used, normal (76 kVp, 14.3 mA) and high (110 kVp, 12.3 mA) to represent typical patient and large patient thickness. Plastic water was placed on the table to represent patient scatter. A Capintec PM-500 ion chamber was placed at approximate chest height where hospital personnel would stand. An uncovered, i.e. lead-unhindered, ion chamber reading was taken to establish the baseline reading of an unprotected personnel. The ion chamber was then wrapped with 0.5mm 99.9% pure Pb material to establish the measurement reading when a diagnostic lead apron attenuates as adequately as 0.5mm Pb. The lead aprons were measured one at a time with the ion chamber fully covered and enclosed within the aprons.

Results: On Normal fluoroscopy setting, the 0.5mm pure Pb showed a transmission of 0.4%. No aprons showed a transmission value as low as 0.5mm Pb. The lowest transmission value measured from the aprons was 2.0%, having a 1.5% higher transmission than pure lead. On High fluoroscopy setting, the lowest apron transmission measurement was at 2.8%, which was comparable to the 0.5mm pure Pb which gave a transmission of 3.0%.

Conclusion: At Normal fluoroscopy setting, the 0.5mm Pb provided an attenuation that could not be matched by any apron measured. At High fluoroscopy setting, only one apron exhibited comparable transmission values as 0.5mm pure Pb.

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