Objective: Rubidium-82 (Rb-82) PET myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) has superior diagnostic accuracy, at least similar prognostic value, and lower patient radiation exposure when compared with technetium-99m single-photon emission computed tomography (Tc-99m SPECT) MPI. The aim of this study was to compare occupational radiation exposure from the two modalities and show that improvements for the patient do not come at a cost to staff.
Materials and methods: Electronic personal dosimeters were worn by staff involved in the administration and imaging of routine clinical Tc-99m SPECT and Rb-82 PET MPI, and during tracer production and QC. To estimate dose to the staff in the event of a medical emergency, a survey meter was placed in close contact with the patient during Rb-82 infusion and imaging, and immediately after administration for Tc-99m SPECT.
Results: Mean (SD) whole-body effective dose to staff during a single MPI procedure was 0.4 (0.4) μSv for Rb-82 PET (1110 MBq) and 3.3 (1.7) μSv for Tc-99m SPECT (350 MBq). Staff effective dose during tracer production and QC was low (<0.2 μSv/patient) and comparable between tracers. An additional effective dose was measured at close contact to the patient during, and immediately after, tracer administration, although this will not pose a significant radiation risk to staff with either technique as long as this is not routine practice.
Conclusion: There is a significant reduction in effective dose during Rb-82 PET when compared with Tc-99m SPECT MPI because of the short half-life of Rb-82 and reduced patient contact.