Radiation dose benchmarks during cardiac catheterization for congenital heart disease in the United States

Sunil J. Ghelani, Andrew C. Glatz, Sthuthi David, Ryan Leahy, Russel Hirsch, Laurie Armsby, Sara M. Trucco, Ralf J. Holzer, Lisa Bergersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Objectives The aim of this study was to define age-stratified, procedure-specific benchmark radiation dose levels during interventional catheterization for congenital heart disease.

Background There is a paucity of published literature with regard to radiation dose levels during catheterization for congenital heart disease. Obtaining benchmark radiation data is essential for assessing the impact of quality improvement initiatives for radiation safety.

Methods Data were obtained retrospectively from 7 laboratories participating in the Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Project on Outcomes collaborative. Total air kerma, dose area product, and total fluoroscopy time were obtained for the following procedures: 1) patent ductus arteriosus closure; 2) atrial septal defect closure; 3) pulmonary valvuloplasty; 4) aortic valvuloplasty; 5) treatment of coarctation of aorta; and 6) transcatheter pulmonary valve placement.

Results Between January 2009 and July 2013, 2,713 cases were identified. Radiation dose benchmarks are presented including median, 75th percentile, and 95th percentile. Radiation doses varied widely between age groups and procedure types. Radiation exposure was lowest in patent ductus arteriosus closure and highest in transcatheter pulmonary valve placement. Total fluoroscopy time was a poor marker of radiation exposure and did not correlate well with total air kerma and dose area product.

Conclusions This study presents age-stratified radiation dose values for 6 common congenital heart interventional catheterization procedures. Fluoroscopy time alone is not an adequate measure for monitoring radiation exposure. These values will be used as baseline for measuring the effectiveness of future quality improvement activities by the Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Project on Outcomes collaborative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1069
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2014



  • congenital heart disease
  • quality improvement
  • radiation dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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