Radiation doses in the surroundings of patients undergoing nuclear medicine diagnostic studies

Health Phys. 2005 Aug;89(2 Suppl):S27-34. doi: 10.1097/01.hp.0000165873.12868.59.


Dose rate measurements were performed at 0, 0.5, and 1 m from the external surface of 79 patients corresponding to the most frequent studies: 99mTc-cardiac with reinjection, 99mTc-cardiac single injection, 99mTc-bone scan, 99mTc-lung studies, and cardiac studies using 201Tl. Doses to staff, nearby patients, and the collective effective doses were estimated for the different working shifts and hospital areas. The estimated dose for nurses for 1 y was 518 microSv in the cardiology section and 338 microSv in the short stay section. For patients, the mean dose per stay was calculated to be 8.5 microSv in the cardiology section. The maximum dose that a patient could receive from a radioactive patient is 499 microSv for a double injection cardiac patient study. The maximum collective effective dose for the whole hospital was calculated to be 0.063 person-Sv. The probability of staff receiving doses higher than the limits for a working day is negligible. Maximum doses for staff and patients are far below dose limits for the public and therefore no additional radiological protection is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Humans
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Nuclear Medicine Department, Hospital
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radiation Protection
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Technetium*
  • Thallium Radioisotopes*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Thallium Radioisotopes
  • Technetium