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A.K. Junk, Z. Haskal, B.V. Worgul; Cataract in Interventional Radiology – an Occupational Hazard? . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):388.
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Purpose: To evaluate the degree to which radiation cataracts represent an occupational hazard among interventional radiologists. Methods: Fifty nine practicing interventional radiologists consented to take part in the study. The subjects’ ages ranged from 29 to 62 years and the level of experience in the field spanned 5 to 36 years. They were asked to complete a questionnaire related to work circumstances and potential cataractogenic confounders. Once maximal mydriasis was obtained, a Nidek EAS–2000 Scheimpflug imaging system was used to document each eye. Both, anterior segment images in five meridians and retroillumination images were acquired. These were subsequently subjected to the instrument’s proprietary analysis programs. Results: Of the 59 men and women examined 31 were free of any lens opacities suggestive of radiogenic origin. Twenty two individuals showed small paracentral dot–like opacities in the posterior subcapsular region of the lens, consistent with early signs of radiation damage. Posterior subcapsular cataracts were documented in 9 eyes of 5 individuals. One radiologist had had a cataract extracted prior to the exam. In 16 of the affected individuals the lens changes were not identical in the two eyes. Conclusions: The frequency and severity of posterior subcapsular lens opacities increased in our cohort both as a function of age and active years in the field. The asymmetry of lens changes may be explained by preferential positioning in relation to the radiation source. No correlation with handedness was detected. Early onset in one individual was clearly due to procedure dependent close proximity to the fluoroscope. Compliance with the use of protective eye wear or face shields appears to reduce the risk.
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