The HARMONIC project: Study design for assessment of cancer risks following cardiac fluoroscopy in childhood

Richard W. Harbron, Isabelle Thierry-Chef, Mark S. Pearce, Marie-Odile Bernier, Serge Dreuil, Estelle Rage, Maria Grazia Andreassi, Eugenio Picano, Steffen Dreger, Hajo Zeeb, Hilde Olerud, Utheya Thevathas, Kristina Kjaerheim, Gaute Dohlen, Andreas Jahnen, Johannes Hermen, Vadim Chumak, Elena Bakhanova, Vitalii Voloskyi, David BorregoChoonsik Lee, Jérémie Dabin

Research outputpeer-review


The HARMONIC project (Health Effects of Cardiac Fluoroscopy and Modern Radiotherapy in Paediatrics) is a European study aiming to improve our understanding of the long-term health risks from radiation exposures in childhood and early adulthood. Here, we present the study design for the cardiac component of HARMONIC. A pooled cohort of approximately 100,000 patients who underwent cardiac fluoroscopy procedures in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain or the UK, while aged under 22 years, will be established from hospital records and/or insurance claims data. Doses to individual organs will be estimated from dose indicators recorded at the time of examination, using a lookup-table-based dosimetry system produced using Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations and anatomically realistic computational phantom models. Information on beam geometry and x-ray energy spectra will be obtained from a representative sample of radiation dose structured reports (RDSRs). Uncertainties in dose estimates will be modelled using 2-dimensional Monte Carlo methods. The cohort will be followed up using national registries and insurance records (Germany) to determine vital status and cancer incidence. Information on organ transplantation (a major risk factor for cancer development) and/or other conditions predisposing to cancer will be obtained from national or local registries and health insurance data, depending on country. The relationship between estimated radiation dose and cancer risk will be investigated using regression modelling. Results will improve information for patients and parents and aid clinicians in managing and implementing changes to reduce radiation risks without compromising medical benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Radiological protection
StateE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2020

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