This study was designed to assess the trends in the frequencies of nuclear medicine procedures in Shanghai, China, and to determine their contributions to the per capita effective dose to the Shanghai population. The mean activities of radionuclides administered by nuclear medicine departments were compared with the Chinese national guidelines on diagnostic reference levels.
On the basis of the three surveys carried out by Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 1996, 1998, and 2008, the typically administered radiopharmaceuticals, levels of activity, the number of procedures, and population were systematically analyzed to assess the frequencies of nuclear medicine procedures and the per capita effective dose.
The frequencies were approximately 2.77, 3.46, and 6.63 per 1000 people in 1996, 1998, and 2008, respectively. The annual per capita doses from diagnostic nuclear medicine were estimated to be 0.016, 0.022, and 0.032 mSv in 1996, 1998, and 2008, respectively. The annual frequency of therapeutic nuclear medicine procedures increased from 0.131 to 0.430 per 1000 people in the intervening 12 years.
In the 12 years before 2008, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in nuclear medicine in Shanghai increased continuously, and the annual per capita dose doubled. Increases in PET imaging and bone scans were the major contributors to the increasing frequency and magnitude of radiation exposure to the population. The activities administered for most diagnostic procedures were generally consistent with the designated reference levels.