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Interventional radiology (IR) and cardiology: possible radiation side effects

Patient information A-Z


Your doctors decided it was appropriate for you to have an X-ray guided treatment. This treatment was carried out in the X-ray department by a highly trained Interventional Radiologist or Cardiologist. Due to the complex nature of the treatment you have received a dose of radiation to your skin that may result in side effects. Be assured that the dose was necessary to make it possible for your treatment to be completed.

Possible side effects

At the dose level you received, you may notice certain changes to the areas of the skin that were directly in the x-ray beam. You may notice nothing at all as it can be difficult to calculate exactly how much radiation one particular area of skin has received.

However, you may notice:

  • A red or pink area of skin
  • An itchy and / or inflamed area of skin
  • An area on your scalp where hair loss is occurring

We will inform your GP or responsible consultant that you have received a dose of radiation. You will need to make an appointment with your GP or responsible consultant either:

In the next 10 to 14 days

Or earlier if you observe any other adverse skin or hair effects, or are generally concerned.

In the meantime, you may wish to ask a family member or friend to inspect your skin for signs of redness or rash, or your scalp for any signs of hair loss.

If you notice any skin changes following your procedure please contact the department using the contact details below.

Contacts/ Further information

Neuro Interventional Radiology: 01223 216405

Body Interventional Radiology: 01223 348920

Cardiology: 01223 274698

References / sources of evidence

Miller DL, Balter S, Schueler BA, Wagner LK, Strauss KJ, Vano E. Clinical Radiation Management for Fluoroscopically Guided Interventional Procedures. Radiology. 2010 Nov; 257(2):321-32: Clinical radiation management for fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures (opens in a new tab).

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151