New protocol to cut children's radiation exposure during cardiac treatment

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Washington, Nov 15 (ANI): According to a new research, a protocol that uses continuous real-time radiation monitoring, low-dose imaging programs and requires physician awareness of radiation dose, significantly reduced radiation exposure during electrophysiology procedures and catheter ablations to diagnose and treat heart arrhythmias in children.

Invasive cardiac electrophysiology is used to diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias, which can range from the benign to the life-threatening.

In the study, researchers looked at boys and girls who underwent electrophysiology. The downside of this imaging is that it exposes patients to a continuous flow of radiation, said Akash R. Patel, at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pa.

"We compared the radiation exposure of 70 children who had undergone the procedures before we began the protocol to that of 61 children who had the procedures after we instituted the protocol," Patel said.

The new protocol uses a low dose fluoroscopy setting and continuous real-time monitoring of radiation exposure. When the radiation dose registers at certain levels, the physician is notified so that the he or she can adjust the fluoroscopy cameras to minimize exposure.

"While we did not measure what these lower doses mean in the long run, we presume, for example, that reducing the effective dose will decrease the child's lifetime increased cancer risk from radiation exposure," Patel said.

"While we did not measure what these lower doses mean in the long run, we presume, for example, that reducing the effective dose will decrease the child's lifetime increased cancer risk from radiation exposure." (ANI)

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