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Comparison of occupational radiation exposure from myocardial perfusion imaging with Rb-82 PET and Tc-99m SPECT

Tout, Deborah; Davidson, Gillian; Hurley, Caroline; Bartley, Michelle; Arumugam, Parthiban; Bradley, Andy

doi: 10.1097/MNM.0000000000000160
Original Articles

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.

Nuclear Medicine Centre, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK

Correspondence to Andy Bradley, BSc (Hons), MSc, Nuclear Medicine Centre, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK Tel: +44 161 276 6245; fax: +44 161 276 8023; e-mail:

Received April 2, 2014

Accepted May 30, 2014

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins