Reducing radiation exposure by lowering frame rate in children undergoing cardiac catheterization: A quality improvement study

Shahnawaz M. Amdani, Robert D. Ross, Paul A. Webster, Daniel R. Turner, Thomas J. Forbes, Daisuke Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Reduction of radiation dosage in the pediatric cardiac catheterization laboratory (PCL) is important to reduce the risk of its stochastic effect in children with congenital heart disease. Lowering the frame rate would reduce radiation dosage possibly at the expense of image quality, potentially resulting in higher fluoroscopic time and procedural complication rate. Methods: The data were retrospectively analyzed in three eras: era 1 (n = 234), cineangiography 30 frames/sec (f/s) and fluoroscopy 15 pulse/sec (p/s); era 2 (n = 381), cineangiography 30 f/s and fluoroscopy 6 p/s; and era 3 (n = 328), cineangiography 15 f/s and fluoroscopy 6 p/s. Also, three operators blinded to the frame rate setting evaluated cineangiography image quality. In this study, the impact of lowering the default frame rates on radiation dosage, fluoroscopic time, contrast volume, diagnostic image quality, and complication rates in the PCL was assessed. Results: Overall radiation dosage progressively declined during these eras (70.0 vs 64.1 vs 36.6 µGym 2 /kg, P <.001) without a difference in significant adverse event rates. There was no significant increase in either fluoroscopy time or contrast volume. There was no difference in the diagnostic image quality between cineangiography 30 and 15 f/s. Lowering the default frame/pulse rates of both fluoroscopy and cineangiography significantly decreased the overall radiation dosage in the PCL. Importantly, fluoroscopy time, contrast volume, and complication rates did not increase while maintaining diagnostic image quality. Conclusion: This quality improvement project proved successful in lowering radiation dosage without compromising the efficacy and safety of catheterizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1037
Number of pages10
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • children
  • cineangiography
  • complication
  • fluoroscopy
  • frame rate
  • radiation dosage


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