MIRD pamphlet No. 17: the dosimetry of nonuniform activity distributions--radionuclide S values at the voxel level. Medical Internal Radiation Dose Committee

J Nucl Med. 1999 Jan;40(1):11S-36S.


The availability of quantitative three-dimensional in vivo data on radionuclide distributions within the body makes it possible to calculate the corresponding nonuniform distribution of radiation absorbed dose in body organs and tissues. This pamphlet emphasizes the utility of the MIRD schema for such calculations through the use of radionuclide S values defined at the voxel level. The use of both dose point-kernels and Monte Carlo simulation methods is also discussed. PET and SPECT imaging can provide quantitative activity data in voxels of several millimeters on edge. For smaller voxel sizes, accurate data cannot be obtained using present imaging technology. For submillimeter dimensions, autoradiographic methods may be used when tissues are obtained through biopsy or autopsy. Sample S value tabulations for five radionuclides within cubical voxels of 3 mm and 6 mm on edge are given in the appendices to this pamphlet. These S values may be used to construct three-dimensional dose profiles for nonuniform distributions of radioactivity encountered in therapeutic and diagnostic nuclear medicine. Data are also tabulated for 131I in 0.1-mm voxels for use in autoradiography. Two examples illustrating the use of voxel S values are given, followed by a discussion of the use of three-dimensional dose distributions in understanding and predicting biologic response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiometry
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / administration & dosage*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon


  • Radiopharmaceuticals