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SQCCCRC, Proved Local Diagnostic Reference Levels for Image-Guided Interventional Procedures

The Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Department at Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Center (SQCCCRC) represented by the Interventional Radiology Unit has successfully proven Diagnostic Reference Levels (DRLs) for Image-Guided Interventional Procedures (IGIPs), specifically for cancer patients in the Sultanate of Oman. This marks a significant step towards improving healthcare quality, ensuring the safety of patients and healthcare providers, and reducing unnecessary radiation exposure while keeping high-quality diagnostic and treatment procedures.  

The study compared radiation doses experienced by over one thousand patients at SQCCCRC to determine proper radiation doses in IGIPs for cancer patients in the Sultanate in line with international studies, and within acceptable limits and global best practices.

Ms. Naema Al Maymani, Medical Physicist said: “Fluoroscopy in medical applications can lead to high radiation doses for patients and operators. Local Diagnostic Reference Levels (DRLs) have been implemented in interventional radiology to minimize radiation exposure while perfecting imaging quality and patient safety.  

Ms. Noura Al Makhmari, Medical Physicist at SQCCCRC added: “By setting specific benchmarks for radiation doses, the study will enhance radiological practice, optimizing patient safety, imaging quality, and therapeutic outcomes and will contribute to radiation safety knowledge, and providing guidance for healthcare professionals.  

The Diagnostic Reference Levels (DRLs) determined the dose area product (DRP) of real-time of exposure in minutes of fluoroscopy procedures as follows: Catheter Insertion: DAP: 0.73 Gy∗cm², FT: 0.52 min, Stent Insertion: DAP: 63.73 Gy∗cm², FT: 12.42 min, Nephrostomy: DAP: 2.21 Gy∗cm², FT: 1.6 min, Embolization: DAP: 136.28 Gy∗cm², FT: 23.65 min, Chemoembolization: DAP: 155.35 Gy∗cm², FT: 22.51 min, Cholangiogram: DAP: 4.31 Gy∗cm², FT: 2.62 min, and Biliary Drainage: DAP: 10.09 Gy∗cm², FT: 9.31 min.  

The study team includes medical physicists from SQCCCRC Radiology and Nuclear Department:  Ms. Naema Al Maymani, Ms. Subhash Kheruka1, Ms. Noura Al Makhmari, Ms. Huoda Al Saidi, Ms. Sana Al Rashd, trainee Ms. Zakyia Awlad Thani and Dr. Rashid Al Sukaiti, Senior Consultant in Interventional Radiology and Catheterization.

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