The role of protective lead clothing in reducing radiation exposure rates to personnel during equine bone scintigraphy

Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2005 Nov-Dec;46(6):529-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2005.00097.x.


Bone scintigraphy is often used in horses because of its sensitivity and noninvasive nature. A 99mTc labeled radiopharmaceutical is injected at a dose of between 5.7 and 7.3GBq. Images are acquired immediately postinjection and 2-4h post. People are often in the room with the horse during the acquisition process. Objectives of this study were to (a) document the radiation exposure rates at different distances from various sites of the horse at varying times post injection and (b) study the usefulness of wearing lead aprons to reduce exposure rates to personnel. Radiation exposure rates were measured in at three distances (at skin surface and at 30 and 100 cm from the skin) from three sites (shoulder, thorax, and pelvis) in 19 horses. Exposure rates were measured with and without shielding by a 0.5-mm lead equivalent apron during both the pool and delayed phases. A 0.5mm equivalent lead apron significantly decreases radiation exposure (P<0.05) at these three distances from the three sites during both image acquisition phases. Mean dose reduction factors from the lead apron range from 3.6 to 5.7.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colorado
  • Horses
  • Hospitals, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lead*
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radionuclide Imaging


  • Lead