Occupational radiation exposure assessment during the management of [ 68Ga]Ga‑DOTA‑TOC

Mercedes Riveira, Lara Struelens, Werner Schoonjans, Isaac Sánchez-Diaz, Jose Munos Iglesias, Oscar Ferreira Dávila, Francisco Javier Salvador Gómez, Manuel Salgado Fernandez, Antonio Lopez Medina

Research outputpeer-review


Background: Since it was first approved in Europe in 2016, the gallium-68 (68Ga) radiopharmaceutical [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC has been widely used for imaging of somatostatin receptor (SSTR) positive tumours using positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET/CT). Significant patient benefits have been reported, so its use is rapidly increasing. However, few studies have been published regarding occupational doses to nuclear medicine personnel handling this radiopharmaceutical, despite its manual usage at low distances from the skin and the beta-emission decay scheme, which may result in an increased absorbed dose to their hands. In this context, this study aims to analyse the occupational exposure during the administration of [68Ga] Ga-DOTA-TOC for PET/CT imaging. For this purpose, extremity, eye lens and wholebody dosimetry in terms of Hp(0.07), Hp(3) and Hp(10), respectively, was conducted on six workers with both thermoluminescent dosimeters, and personal electronic dosimeters. Results: The non-dominant hand is more exposed to radiation than the dominant hand, with the thumb and the index fingertip being the most exposed sites on this hand. Qualitative analysis showed that when no shielding is used during injection, doses increase significantly more in the dominant than in the non-dominant hand, so the use of shielding is strongly recommended. While wrist dosimeters may significantly underestimate doses to the hands, placing a ring dosimeter at the base of the ring or middle finger of the non-dominant hand may give a valuable estimation of maximum doses to the hands if at least a correction factor of 5 is applied. Personal equivalent doses for the eyes did not result in measurable values (i.e., above the lowest detection limit) for almost all workers. The extrapolated annual dose estimations showed that there is compliance with the annual dose limits during management of [ 68Ga] Ga-DOTA-TOC for diagnostics with PET in the hospital included in this study. Conclusions: Imaging with [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC is a safe process for the workers performing the administration of the radiopharmaceutical, including intravenous injection to the patient and the pre- and post-activity control, as it is highly unlikely that annual dose limits will be exceeded if good working practices and shielding are used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number75
Number of pages20
JournalEJNMMI Physics
StatePublished - 29 Oct 2022

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