Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements
I greatly appreciate the comments by Zabala et al. (1) regarding my article on radiation exposure among anesthesiologists (2). I am encouraged by their report of an alternative technology for conducting electrophysiological studies that offers the promise of reduced radiation exposure.
Although my study focused only on the electrophysiological laboratory, that is only the tip of the “radiation iceberg” for exposure among anesthesiologists. Almost every month a new fluoroscopically controlled, “noninvasive” procedure appears in our operating rooms and radiology suites. Such procedures undoubtedly benefit our patients, but they are a potential source of cumulative radiation-induced injury to anesthesiologists and surgeons alike. Innovations such as nonfluoroscopic three-dimensional electroanatomical mapping will be necessary if clinicians are to avoid the adverse consequences of excessive radiation exposure.
Jonathan D. Katz, MD
Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology
Yale University School of Medicine
Chair, ASA Committee on Occupational Health
1. Zabala LM, Schmitz ML, Ullah S, et al. Electrophysiology studies without fluoroscopy. Anesth Analg 2006;103:780.
2. Katz JD. Radiation exposure to anesthesia personnel: the impact of an electrophysiology laboratory. Anesth Analg 2005;101:1725–6.