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Radiology. 1995 Nov;197(2):473-8.

Effectiveness of lead aprons in vascular radiology: results of clinical measurements.

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Department of Radiology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.



To determine the effectiveness of 0.5-mm-thick lead-equivalent aprons in vascular radiology.


The radiation dose to radiology personnel was measured under and over lead aprons in more than 100 patient examinations. Thermoluminescent dosimeters of high and normal sensitivities (detection levels of 1 and 10 microGy, respectively) were used. Dose measurements in clinical practice were complemented with real-time measurement of generating potential, dose-area product, and fluoroscopy time. In addition, measurements of the radiation attenuation of aprons were performed in simulated exposure conditions. The generating potential in fluoroscopy--weighted for the contribution to the occupational exposure--varied between about 70 and 95 kV per examination (average, 78 kV).


On the basis of measurements obtained under clinical conditions in vascular radiology, attenuation factors between 70 and 280 were derived. The typical radiation attenuation factor for 0.5-mm-thick lead-equivalent aprons was 200.


The effectiveness of 0.5-mm-thick lead-equivalent aprons, determined with clinical measurements, agrees with estimates based on generating potential. Previously published effective doses, inferred from nonclinically determined radiation transmission factors, probably overestimate the actual dose levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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