Sustained radiation reduction following initial quality improvement intervention in a paediatric cardiac catheterisation laboratory.

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DOI: 10.1017/S1047951122000543


BACKGROUND: As part of a quality improvement project beginning in October 2011, our centre introduced changes to reduce radiation exposure during paediatric cardiac catheterisations. This led to significant initial decreases in radiation to patients. Starting in April 2016, we sought to determine whether these initial reductions were sustained.

METHODS: After a 30-day trial period, we implemented (1) weight-based reductions in preset frame rates for fluoroscopy and angiography, (2) increased use of collimators and safety shields, (3) utilisation of stored fluoroscopy and virtual magnification, and (4) hiring of a devoted radiation technician. We collected patient weight (kg), total fluoroscopy time (min), and procedure radiation dosage (cGy-cm2) for cardiac catheterisations between October, 2011 and September, 2019.

RESULTS: A total of 1889 procedures were evaluated (196 pre-intervention, 303 in the post-intervention time period, and 1400 in the long-term group). Fluoroscopy times (18.3 ± 13.6 pre; 19.8 ± 14.1 post; 17.11 ± 15.06 long-term, p = 0.782) were not significantly different between the three groups. Patient mean radiation dose per kilogram decreased significantly after the initial quality improvement intervention (39.7% reduction, p = 0.039) and was sustained over the long term (p = 0.043). Provider radiation exposure was also significantly decreased from the onset of this project through the long-term period (overall decrease of 73%, p < 0.01) despite several changes in the interventional cardiologists who made up the team over this time period.

CONCLUSION: Introduction of technical and clinical practice changes can result in a significant reduction in radiation exposure for patients and providers in a paediatric cardiac catheterisation laboratory. These reductions can be maintained over the long term.

Journal Title

Cardiology in the young





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MeSH Keywords

Child; Humans; Quality Improvement; Radiation Exposure; Radiation Dosage; Angiography; Cardiac Catheterization; Fluoroscopy


Catheterisation; fluoroscopy; paediatric; quality improvement; radiation exposure

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