Radiation Protection in Nuclear Medicine

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Introduction: The Importance of Radiation Protection in Nuclear Medicine

  • Sören MattssonAffiliated withMedical Radiation Physics, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Email author 

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In nuclear medicine, radiopharmaceuticals are administered to the patient either for the production of diagnostic images or with the intention to treat using the emitted radiation from the radiopharmaceutical. The increased use of PET-imaging causes a need for new planning of radiation protection. In radionuclide therapy, the activities are higher and the radionuclides used are often different from those used in diagnostic nuclear medicine and constitute a greater radiation protection problem. In both diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine, the patient becomes a source of radiation not only for him/herself but also for staff, caregivers and the general public. All categories of staff members involved in nuclear medicine must have good knowledge of radiation protection. This is vital for patient safety as well as for the staff's own security, fore caregivers and the general public.