News | October 19, 2010

Initiative Launched to Standardize Radiation Dose in Pediatric Nuclear Medicine

October 19, 2010 — The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) and the Society for Pediatric Radiology’s Board of Directors recently approved new North American Guidelines for Radiopharmaceutical Doses for Children. These societies have expanded their pediatric radiation protection initiative by standardizing doses (based on body weight) for 11 nuclear medicine procedures commonly performed in children. The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has collaborated in this effort and will support efforts to promote the new, lower radiopharmaceutical doses. 

“Children may be more sensitive to radiation from medical imaging scans than adults. A radiopharmaceutical dose which is too low may risk poor diagnostic image quality. Doses too high may expose the child to unnecessary radiation exposure without benefit,” said S. Ted Treves, M.D., strategy leader of the Image Gently Nuclear Medicine Initiative, chief of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging at Children’s Hospital Boston and Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Treves; Michael J. Gelfand, M.D.; and Marguerite T. Parisi, M.D., MS, are co-chairs of the workgroup of 20 pediatric nuclear medicine professionals that worked together to reach these consensus guidelines.

“It is important that we standardize dose to help ensure that all pediatric nuclear medicine professionals consistently optimize medical images while only using the minimum amount of radiation necessary to obtain these images,” Treves said. “These latest SNM and Image Gently efforts are a major step forward toward dose reduction in pediatric nuclear medicine.”

The new guidelines are available on the SNM (www.snm.org), SPR (www.pedrad.org) and Image Gently (www.imagegently.org) websites.

For more information: www.snm.org

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