Review of extremity dosimetry in nuclear medicine

Robert P. Kollaard, Alessandra Zorz, Jérémie Dabin, Peter Covens, Jennie Cooke, Melissa Crabbé, Lidia Cunha, Anita Dowling, Mercè Ginjaume, Leanne McNamara

Research outputpeer-review


The exposure of the fingers is one of the major radiation protection concerns in nuclear medicine (NM). The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the exposure, dosimetry and protection of the extremities in NM. A wide range of reported finger doses were found in the literature. Historically, the highest finger doses are found at the fingertip in the preparation and dispensing of 18F for diagnostic procedures and 90Y for therapeutic procedures. Doses can be significantly reduced by following recommendations on source shielding, increasing distance and training. Additionally, important trends contributing to a lower dose to the fingers are the use of automated procedures (especially for Positron Emission Tomography, PET) and the use of prefilled syringes. On the other hand, the workload of PET procedures has substantially increased during the last 10 years. In many cases, the accuracy of dose assessment is limited by the location of the dosimeter at the base of the finger and the maximum dose at the fingertip is underestimated (typical dose ratios between 1.4 and 7). It should also be noted that not all dosimeters are sensitive to low-energy beta particles and there is a risk for underestimation of the finger dose when the detector or its filter is too thick. While substantial information has been published on the most common procedures (using 99mTc, 18F and 90Y), less information is available for more recent applications, such as the use of 68Ga for PET imaging. Also, there is a need for continuous awareness with respect to contamination of the fingers, as this factor can contribute substantially to the finger dose.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberR60
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Radiological protection
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2021

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