Radiation exposure, protection and risk from nuclear medicine procedures

  • Massimo Salvatori
  • Giovanni Lucignani
Focus on

“Primum non nocere”

Hippocrates (ca. 460-ca. 377 B.C.)

It is no secret that the enthusiastic use of X-rays and radioactive materials in the early years following their discovery led to numerous biological adverse effects. Realisation of this cause-effect relationship sparked a keen interest in protection against the hazards associated with medical radiation exposure.

The recent dramatic increase in the number of diagnostic medical procedures that use ionising radiation, including nuclear medicine procedures, has resulted in a very significant increase in cumulative exposure to radiation and in the small, but measurable, related risk of carcinogenesis.

In 1980, medical imaging was estimated to account for 15% of the average annual radiation exposure received by the population of the USA (0.54 of 3.6 mSv); by 2006 this proportion had risen to 50% (3.0 of 6.0 mSv). To explore this trend, Mettler and co-workers [1] recently reviewed two publicly available surveys of radiological and...


Radiation Protection Differentiate Thyroid Cancer Amifostine Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy 131I Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are grateful to Ms Catherine Wrenn for her advice and skilful editorial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine Institute, Policlinico Universitario “A. Gemelli”Catholic University of the Sacred HeartRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies and Center of Molecular and Cellular Imaging (IMAGO)University of MilanMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic Services, Unit of Nuclear MedicineSan Paolo HospitalMilanItaly

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