Interventional radiology (IR) consist in practicing medical procedures inside the body with minimally-invasive instruments and using medical image guidance like x-ray or fluoroscopy. Diagnostic IR procedures intend to narrow a diagnosis or guide further medical treatment and include image-guided biopsy or the injection of a contrasting agent (iodine, barium, ...) for computed tomography, radiography or fluoroscopy. Therapeutic IR procedures provide direct treatment including catheter-based medicine delivery, medical device placement and image-guided operation in cardiology or oncology.
Diagnostic and therapeutic IR replace complicated and invasive medical procedures (and their complications) but also bring the potential for elevated exposure for both the patients and the medical staff, notably their hands and eyes.
ICRP Publication 139 (2018) laid out the latest recommendations on occupational radiation protection for interventional radiology (IR) procedures. However, there is still a long road to cover to make sure that these recommendations are fully implemented. The doses in IR account for one of the most important sources of occupational exposure in medicine and have the potential to increase as the number and the complexity of procedures do and several issues remain open and challenging to manage in the real practice. This is where the seed questions come from, that will compose the basis of the next EAN workshop on Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine planned in 2023.
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