Occupational Radiation Exposure Linked to Left-Sided Brain Tumors

Picture-7-300x231Disproportionate reports of left-sided brain tumors in interventional physicians with sustained practices involving radiation may suggest a causal relation to occupational radiation exposure, according to study data published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Following up on their report of nine recent cases of brain cancer in interventional cardiologists, researchers received 22 more cases from around the world.

Researchers tracked the physicians’ ages, sex, tumor types, sides involved, specialties (cardiologist vs. radiologist) and number of years in practice, based on medical records and interviews with the physicians’ patients or family.

There were 23 interventional cardiologists, two electrophysiologists and six interventional radiologists, all of whom had worked in an interventional practice with exposure to radiation. For the 26 whom career duration was known, the latency period spanned from 12 years to 32 years (mean, 23.5 ± 5.9).

There were 17 cases (55%) of glioblastoma multiforme, five meningiomas (16%) and two astrocytomas (7%). Data were available regarding the side of the brain involved in 26 operators: 22 were left-sided (85%), three right-sided and one midline in an interventional cardiologist who had performed most cases using the Sones technique, in which the head is typically centered closest to the X-ray source.

According to Ariel Roguin, MD, PhD, study investigator with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, since the publication of the paper, there has been an additional report of a left-sided astrocytoma in a 52-year-old pediatric electrophysiologist physician, making the total 32 cases.

“It is difficult to prove that the incidence of brain tumors is higher because of the ionizing radiation than in the general population. But the left-side involvement is statistically significant,” Roguin told Cardiology Today’s Intervention. “

Omega Medical Imaging provides effective solutions for reducing the amount of scatter radiation that is seen during interventional procedures. While this study focuses in on interventional radiology and cardiology, many other cases such as interventional endoscopy (ERCP) and bronchoscopy utilize ionizing radiation such as fluoroscopy, which can lead to the same issues highlighted in the study.  In the cardiac and electrophysiology space, Omega offers a full line of ceiling suspended shielding as well as table-mounted shields, to help minimize the scatter radiation to the physicians and staff in the room.  With our e-View systems, the radiation is shielded from around the table and the image receptor, greatly eliminating scatter radiation during therapeutic endoscopy procedures.

Disclosure: Roguin reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Source: www.healio.com; Ariel Roguin; March 4. 2013.

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