The introduction of automated dispensing and injection during PET procedures: a step in the optimisation of extremity doses and whole-body doses of nuclear medicine staff

Peter Covens, Daniëlle Berus, Filip Vanhavere, Vicky Caveliers

    Research outputpeer-review


    Significant staff exposure is generally expected during PET-and PET/CT applications. Whole-body doses as well as extremity doses are usually higher per procedure compared with SPECT applications. Dispensing individual patient doses and manual injection involves high extremity doses even when heavy weighted syringe shields are used. In some cases the external radiation causes an exposure to the fingertips of more than 500 mSv y(-1), which is the yearly limit. Whole-body doses per procedure are relatively lower compared with extremity doses and are generally spread over the entire procedure (Guillet, B., Quentin, P., Waultier, S., Bourrelly, M., Pisano, P. and Mundler, O. Technologist radiation exposure in routine clinical practice with 18F-FDG PET. J. Nucl. Med. Technol. 33, 175-179 (2005). Optimisation of the individual workload is often used to restrict staff doses, but many PET centres face the need for further optimisation to reduce the staff doses to an acceptable level. During this study the effect of the use of an automated dispensing and injection system for (18)FDG on whole-body doses and extremity doses was evaluated. Detailed dosimetric studies using thermoluminescent and direct ion storage dosimetry were carried out before and after the introduction of this system. The results show that the extremity doses can be reduced by more than 95 % up to a mean level of 10 muSv per handled GBq. At the same time, whole-body doses can be halved during injection of the tracer. This results in a dose reduction of 20 % during the entire procedure of injection, escorting and positioning. In this way, the study shows that with the use of automated dispensing and injection a considerable staff dose reduction can be obtained.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)250-258
    Number of pages9
    JournalRadiation protection dosimetry
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 23 Mar 2010

    Cite this