Radiation dose produced by patients during radiopharmaceutical incorporation in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures
Morán V (1), Prieto E (2), García-García B (3), Barbés B (2), Ribelles MJ (3), Richter JÁ (4), Martí-Climent JM (5).
The aim of this study was to assess the dose received by members of the public due to close contact with patients undergoing nuclear medicine procedures during radiopharmaceutical incorporation, and comparing it with the emitted radiation dose when the test was complete, in order to establish recommendations.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A prospective study was conducted on 194 patients. H*(10) dose rates were measured at 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0m after the radiopharmaceutical administration, before the image acquisition, and at the end of the nuclear medicine procedure. Effective dose for different close contact scenarios were calculated, according to 95th percentile value (bone scans) and the maximum value (remaining tests).
During the radiopharmaceutical incorporation, a person who stays with another injected patient in the same waiting room may receive up to 0.59mSv. If the patient had a medical appointment, or went to a restaurant or a coffee shop, members of the public could receive 23, 43, and 22μSv, respectively. After finishing the procedure, these doses are reduced by a factor 3. In most of the studies, the use of private instead of public transport may reduce the dose by more than a factor 6.
It is recommended to increase the distance between the patients during the radiopharmaceutical incorporation and to distribute them according to the diagnostic procedure. Patients should be encouraged to use private instead of public transport. Depending on the number of nuclear medicine outpatients per year attended by a physician, it could be necessary to apply restrictions.