Table of Contents
International Journal of Molecular Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 897202, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Quantifying the Increase in Radiation Exposure Associated with SPECT/CT Compared to SPECT Alone for Routine Nuclear Medicine Examinations

Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, New York University, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 15 March 2011; Accepted 13 May 2011

Academic Editor: Alexander Drzezga

Copyright © 2011 Ann M. Larkin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. We quantify the additional radiation exposure in terms of effective dose incurred by patients in the CT portion of SPECT/CT examinations. Methods. The effective dose from a variety of common nuclear medicine procedures is calculated and summarized. The extra exposure from the CT portion of the examination is summarized by examination and body part. Two hundred forty-eight scans from 221 patients are included in this study. The effective dose from the CT examination is also compared to average background radiation. Results. We found that the extra effective dose is not sufficient to cause deterministic effects. However, the stochastic effects may be significant, especially in patients undergoing numerous follow-up studies. The cumulative effect might increase the radiation exposure compared to patient management with SPECT alone. Conclusions. While the relative increase in radiation exposure associated with SPECT/CT is generally considered acceptable when compared with the benefits to the patient, physicians should make every effort to minimize this effect by using proper technical procedures and educating patients about the exposure they will receive.