Nuclear medicine staff exposure to ionising radiation in 18F-FDG PET/CT practice: a preliminary retrospective study

Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2021 Sep 28;72(3):216-224. doi: 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3517.


This retrospective study provides an insight into the levels of radiation exposure of six nuclear medicine (NM) staff (four technologists and two nurses) performing routine diagnostic 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) at the University Clinical Centre of the Republic of Srpska, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Thyroid Disorders, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Data analysis included monthly staff exposure measured with personal thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) between June and December 2018, quantified in terms of normalised dose for the whole body [Hp(10)] and dominant hand [Hp(0.07)] and their comparison between each staff member and between the two groups (technologists and nurses). The study goal was to establish how our Department compared with reports from other PET/CT centres worldwide in terms of annual number of procedures and exposure limits and whether there could be room for further improvements in radiation protection. The number of procedures rose considerably from 208 in 2016 to 876 in 2019 and was 423 in the observed seven-month period. Mean individual whole-body exposure dose per GBq of injected 18F-FDG activity, [Hp(10)/A] was 18.55 μSv/GBq for the four technologists and 15.61 μSv/GBq for the two nurses. Mean dominant-hand exposure dose per GBq of injected 18F-FDG activity [Hp(0.07)/A] was 16.99 μSv/GBq and 25.44 μSv/GBq for the two groups, respectively. The average annual cumulative dose for all staff was (1.06±0.29) mSv for Hp(10) and (1.15±0.32) mSv for Hp(0.07). These results are comparable with those of similar studies. Staff doses were well below the annual limits. Nurses received slightly higher extremity doses than technologists. In view of the increasing trends in the number of PET/CT procedures, dose monitoring should be continued to identify exposure hotspots and maintain doses as low as possible.

PMID:34587667 | DOI:10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3517

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