Radiation dose to technologists per nuclear medicine examination and estimation of annual dose.

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Journal of nuclear medicine technology, vol.39, pp.55-9, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Conventional diagnostic nuclear medicine applications have been continuously increasing in most nuclear medicine departments in Turkey, but to our knowledge no one has studied the doses to technologists who perform nuclear medicine procedures. Most nuclear medicine laboratories do not have separate control rooms for technologists, who are quite close to the patient during data acquisition. Technologists must therefore stay behind lead shields while performing their task if they are to reduce the radiation dose received. The aim of this study was to determine external radiation doses to technologists during nuclear medicine procedures with and without a lead shield. Another aim was to investigate the occupational annual external radiation doses to Turkish technologists. Methods: This study used a Geiger-Müller detector to measure dose rates to technologists at various distances from patients (0.25, 0.50, 1, and 2 m and behind a lead shield) and determined the average time spent by technologists at these distances. Deep-dose equivalents to technologists were obtained. The following conventional nuclear medicine procedures were considered: thyroid scintigraphy performed using 99mTc pertechnetate, whole-body bone scanning performed using 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate, myocardial perfusion scanning performed using 99mTc-methoxyisobutyl isonitrile, and 201Tl (thallous chloride) and renal scanning performed using 99mTc-dimercaptosuccinic acid. Results: The measured deep-dose equivalent to technologists per procedure was within the range of 0.13 ± 0.05 to 0.43 ± 0.17 μSv using a lead shield and 0.21 ± 0.07 to 1.01 ± 0.46 μSv without a lead shield. Also, the annual individual dose to a technologist performing only a particular scintigraphic procedure throughout a year was estimated. Conclusion: For a total of 95 clinical cases (71 patients), effective external radiation doses to technologists were found to be within the permissible levels. This study showed that a 2-mm lead shield markedly reduced the external dose to technologists. The doses to technologists varied significantly for different diagnostic applications. Consequently, the estimated annual dose to a technologist performing only a particular scintigraphic procedure is very different from one type of procedure to another. The results of this study should help in determining the rotation time of technologists in different procedures and differences in their individual techniques.