Objectives: To investigate the impact of the interventionalist's experience and gender on radiation dose and procedural time in CT-guided interventions.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 4380 CT-guided interventions performed at our institution with the same CT scanner from 2009 until 2018, 1287 (29%) by female and 3093 (71%) by male interventionalists. Radiation dose, number of CT fluoroscopy images taken per intervention, total procedural time, type of intervention, and degree of difficulty were derived from the saved dose reports and images. All 16 interventionalists included in this analysis performed their first CT-guided interventions during the study period, and interventions performed by each interventionalist were counted to assess the level of experience for each intervention in terms of the number of prior interventions performed by her or him. The Mann-Whitney U test (MWU test), multivariate regression, and linear mixed model analysis were performed.
Results: Assessment of the impact of gender with the MWU test revealed that female interventionalists took a significantly smaller number of images (p < 0.0001) and achieved a lower dose-length product per intervention (p < 0.0001) while taking more time per intervention (p = 0.0001). This finding was confirmed for most types of interventions when additionally accounting for other possible impact factors in multivariate regression analysis. In linear mixed model analysis, we found that radiation dose, number of images taken per intervention, and procedural time decreased statistically significantly with interventionalist's experience.
Conclusions: Radiation doses of CT-guided interventions are reduced by interventionalist's experience and, for most types of interventions, when performed by female interventionalists.
Key points: • Radiation doses in CT-guided interventions are lower when performed by female interventionalists. • Procedural times of CT-guided interventions are longer when performed by female interventionalists. • Radiation doses of CT-guided interventions decrease with the interventionalist's experience.