Intussusception reduction: Effect of air vs. liquid enema on radiation dose
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Both air and radiopaque liquid contrast are used to reduce ileocolic intussusception under fluoroscopy. Some suggest air lowers radiation dose due to shorter procedure times. However, air enema likely lowers radiation dose regardless of fluoroscopy time due to less density over the automatic exposure control cells.
We test the hypothesis that air enema reduction of ileocolic intussusception results in lower radiation dose than liquid contrast enema independent of fluoroscopy time. We describe a role for automatic exposure control in this dose difference.
Materials and methods
We retrospectively evaluated air and liquid intussusception reductions performed on a single digital fluoroscopic unit during a 26-month period. We compared patient age, weight, gender, exam time of day and year, performing radiologist(s), radiographic image acquisitions, grid and magnification use, fluoroscopy time and dose area product. We compared categorical and continuous variables statistically using chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests, respectively.
The mean dose area product was 2.7-fold lower for air enema, 1.3 ± 0.9 dGy·cm2, than for liquid, 3.5 ± 2.5 dGy·cm2 (P<0.005). The mean fluoroscopy time was similar between techniques. The mean dose area product/min was 2.3-fold lower for air, 0.6 ± 0.2 dGy·cm2/min, than for liquid, 1.4 ± 0.5 dGy·cm2/min (P<0.001). No group differences were identified in other measured dose parameters.
Fluoroscopic intussusception reduction using air enema uses less than half the radiation dose of liquid contrast enema. Dose savings are independent of fluoroscopy time and are likely due to automatic exposure control interaction.
KeywordsAutomatic exposure control Children Enema Enteric contrast Fluoroscopy Intussusception Radiation dose
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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