Non-lead protective aprons for the protection of interventional radiology physicians from radiation exposure in clinical settings: An initial study

Mamoru Kato, Koichi Chida, Masato Munehisa, Tadaya Sato, Yohei Inaba, Masatoshi Suzuki, Masayuki Zuguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Radiation protection/evaluation during interventional radiology (IVR) poses a very important problem. Although IVR physicians should wear protective aprons, the IVR physician may not tolerate wearing one for long procedures because protective aprons are generally heavy. In fact, orthopedic problems are increasingly reported in IVR physicians due to the strain of wearing heavy protective aprons during IVR. In recent years, non-Pb protective aprons (lighter weight, composite materials) have been developed. Although non-Pb protective aprons are more expensive than Pb protective aprons, the former aprons weigh less. However, whether the protective performance of non-Pb aprons is sufficient in the IVR clinical setting is unclear. This study compared the ability of non-Pb and Pb protective aprons (0.25-and 0.35-mm Pb-equivalents) to protect physicians from scatter radiation in a clinical setting (IVR, cardiac catheterizations, including percutaneous coronary intervention) using an electric personal dosimeter (EPD). For radiation measurements, physicians wore EPDs: One inside a personal protective apron at the chest, and one outside a personal protective apron at the chest. Physician comfort levels in each apron during procedures were also evaluated. As a result, performance (both the shielding effect (98.5%) and comfort (good)) of the non-Pb 0.35-mm-Pb-equivalent protective apron was good in the clinical setting. The radiation-shielding effects of the non-Pb 0.35-mm and Pb 0.35-mm-Pb-equivalent protective aprons were very similar. Therefore, non-Pb 0.35-mm Pb-equivalent protective aprons may be more suitable for providing radiation protection for IVR physicians because the shielding effect and comfort are both good in the clinical IVR setting. As non-Pb protective aprons are nontoxic and weigh less than Pb protective aprons, non-Pb protective aprons will be the preferred type for radiation protection of IVR staff, especially physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1613
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep


  • Disaster medicine
  • Fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Interventional radiology (IVR)
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Protective apron
  • Radiation dose
  • Radiation protection
  • Radiation safety
  • X-ray examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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