Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

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Technologist radiation exposure in routine 18FDG PET clinical practice

B. Guillet , P. Quentin, S. Waultier, M. Bourrelly, P. Pisano, O. Mundler. 2005. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology. Pages 105 : 33(3):175-9. Impac factor IF 7,022


The use of 18F-FDG for clinical PET studies increases technologist radiation dose exposure because of the higher gamma-radiation energy of this isotope than of other conventional medical gamma-radiation-emitting isotopes. Therefore, 18F-FDG imaging necessitates stronger radiation protection requirements. The aims of this study were to assess technologist whole-body and extremity exposure in our PET department and to evaluate the efficiency of our radiation protection devices (homemade syringe drawing device, semiautomated injector, and video tracking of patients).

Radiation dose assessment was performed for monodose as well as for multidose 18F-FDG packaging with both LiF thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD) and electronic personal dosimeters (ED) during 5 successive 18F-FDG PET steps (from syringe filling to patient departure).

The mean +/- SD total effective doses received by technologists (n = 50) during all of the working steps were 3.24 +/- 2.1 and 3.01 +/- 1.4 microSv, respectively, as measured with ED and TLD (345 +/- 84 MBq injected). These values were confirmed by daily TLD technologist whole-body dose measurements (2.98 +/- 1.8 microSv ; 294 +/- 78 MBq injected ; n = 48). Finger irradiation doses during preparation of single 18F-FDG syringes were 204.9 +/- 24 and 198.4 +/- 23 microSv with multidose vials (345 +/- 93 MBq injected) and 127.3 +/- 76 and 55.9 +/- 47 microSv with monodose vials (302 +/- 43 MBq injected) for the right hand and the left hand, respectively. The protection afforded by the semiautomated injector, estimated as the ratio of the doses received by TLD placed on the syringe shield and on the external face of the injector, was near 2,000.

These results showed that technologist radiation doses in our PET department were lower than those reported in the literature. This finding may be explained by the use of a homemade syringe drawing device, a semiautomated injector, and patient video tracking, allowing a shorter duration of contact between the technologist and the patient. Extrapolation of these results to an annual dose (4 patients per day per technologist) revealed that the annual extrapolated exposure values remained under the authorized limits for workers classified to work in a radioactivity-controlled area.