European Spine Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 651–657 | Cite as

Radiation exposure using the O-arm® surgical imaging system

  • Nicolas PitteloudEmail author
  • Axel Gamulin
  • Christophe Barea
  • Jerome Damet
  • Guillaume Racloz
  • Marta Sans-Merce
Original Article



This study was conducted to characterise the O-arm® surgical imaging system in terms of patient organ doses and medical staff occupational exposure during three-dimensional thoracic spine and pelvic examinations.


An anthropomorphic phantom was used to evaluate absorbed organ doses during a three-dimensional thoracic spine scan and a three-dimensional pelvic scan with the O-arm®. Staff occupational exposure was evaluated by constructing an ambient dose cartography of the operating theatre during a three-dimensional pelvic scan as well as using an anthropomorphic phantom to simulate the O-arm® operator.


Patient organ doses ranged from 30 ± 4 μGy to 20.0 ± 3.0 mGy and 4 ± 1 μGy to 6.7 ± 1.0 mGy for a three-dimensional thoracic spine and pelvic examination, respectively. For a single three-dimensional acquisition, the maximum ambient equivalent dose at 2 m from the iso-centre was 11 ± 1 μSv.


Doses delivered to the patient during a three-dimensional thoracic spine image acquisition were found to be significant with the O-arm®, but lower than those observed with a standard computed tomography examination. The detailed dose cartography allows for the optimisation of medical staff positioning within the operating theatre while imaging with the O-arm®.


O-arm Staff and patient radiation exposure Dosimetry Organ dose 3D surgical imaging system 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics SectionUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Division of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospitals of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute of Radiation PhysicsLausanne University HospitalLausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Imagery and Medical Science InformationUniversity Hospitals of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyUniversity of OtagoChristchurchNew Zealand

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