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18FDG Synthesis and Supply: a Journey from Existing Centralized to Future Decentralized Models

  • uz Zaman, Maseeh (Section of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, Aga Khan University Hospital) ;
  • Fatima, Nosheen (Department of Nuclear Cardiology, Visiting Faculty, Karachi Institute of Heart Disease) ;
  • Sajjad, Zafar (Section of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, Aga Khan University Hospital) ;
  • Zaman, Unaiza (Students MBBS, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences) ;
  • Tahseen, Rabia (Students MBBS, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences) ;
  • Zaman, Areeba (Students MBBS, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences)
  • Published : 2015.01.06

Abstract

Positron emission tomography (PET) as the functional component of current hybrid imaging (like PET/CT or PET/MRI) seems to dominate the horizon of medical imaging in coming decades. $^{18}$Flourodeoxyglucose ($^{18}FDG$) is the most commonly used probe in oncology and also in cardiology and neurology around the globe. However, the major capital cost and exorbitant running expenditure of low to medium energy cyclotrons (about 20 MeV) and radiochemistry units are the seminal reasons of low number of cyclotrons but mushroom growth pattern of PET scanners. This fact and longer half-life of $^{18}F$ (110 minutes) have paved the path of a centralized model in which $^{18}FDG$ is produced by commercial PET radiopharmacies and the finished product (multi-dose vial with tungsten shielding) is dispensed to customers having only PET scanners. This indeed reduced the cost but has limitations of dependence upon timely arrival of daily shipments as delay caused by any reason results in cancellation or rescheduling of the PET procedures. In recent years, industry and academia have taken a step forward by producing low energy, table top cyclotrons with compact and automated radiochemistry units (Lab-on-Chip). This decentralized strategy enables the users to produce on-demand doses of PET probe themselves at reasonably low cost using an automated and user-friendly technology. This technological development would indeed provide a real impetus to the availability of complete set up of PET based molecular imaging at an affordable cost to the developing countries.

Keywords

PET;$^{18}FDG$;cyclotrons;nucleophilic production;microfluidics;decentralized production

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