Development of a practical eye lens dosemeter for interventional procedures in hospitals.

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


During procedures, interventional cardiologists and radiologists can receive
high occupational doses from complex scattered X-ray radiation fields.
Recently, reports have raised the concern that a link exist between chronic
exposure to these fields and effects in unshielded tissues such as the eyes
and brain. In addition, a lower occupational dose limit to the lens of the eyes
has been recommended in response to studies showing that cataracts can
occur at threshold doses lower than previously assumed. Medical doctors can
exceed this dose, due to their high workload, the complexity of the
procedures performed and proximity to the radiation. Therefore, routine
assessment of the eye lens dose and optimized protection, such as the use
of lead glasses and lead caps, are now to be considered. The aim of this
project was to develop an eye lens dosemeter suitable to be used together
with lead glasses in the complex radiation field to which medical doctors are
exposed. This was done by numerical and experimental methods. Firstly, a
rod-shaped radiophotoluminescent dosemeter was characterized and redesigned
to improve its angular response which makes it suitable for eye
lens dosimetry, independently of the angle of the scatter radiation.
Secondly, the influence of where the dosemeter is placed on lead protective
glasses on determining the dose received by the eye lens was evaluated.
This study showed that the optimal position for the dosemeter is over the
lead glasses, close to its bridge over the nose. In a parallel study, the
efficiency of several protective devices in reducing the dose received in
the white matter and hippocampus of the brain was investigated. Our study
demonstrated that suspended ceiling screens are the most effective and
decrease the dose to the brain tissue by around 70%. Depending on their
type, lead caps provide a protection from only 6% up to about 70%.
Date of Award19 Feb 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
SupervisorNico Buls (Promotor), Filip Vanhavere (Advisor), Johan De Mey (Jury), Danny Schoors (Jury), Freya Blekman (Jury), Gert Van Gompel (Jury), Colin Martin (Jury), Hildegarde Vandenhove (Jury) & Ria Bogaerts (Promotor)


  • eye lens dosemeter
  • procedure
  • hospitals
  • X-ray radiation fields
  • eyes
  • brain

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