Significantly Low Effective Dose from 18FDG PET/CT Scans Using Dose Reducing Strategies: "Lesser is Better"

  • Published : 2016.07.01


Background: Fluorodeoxyglucose ($^{18}FDG$) PET/CT imaging has become an important component of the management paradigm in oncology. However, the significant imparted radiation exposure is a matter of growing concern especially in younger populations who have better odds of survival. The aim of this study was to estimate the effective dose received by patients having whole body $^{18}F$-FDG PET/CT scanning as per recent dose reducing guidelines at a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: This prospective study covered 63 patients with different cancers who were referred for PET/CT study for various indications. Patients were prepared as per departmental protocol and 18FDG was injected at 3 MBq/Kg and a low dose, non-enhanced CT protocol (LD-NECT) was used. Diagnostic CT studies of specific regions were subsequently performed if required. Effective dose imparted by 18FDG (internal exposure) was calculated by using multiplying injected dose in MBq with coefficient $1.9{\times}10^{-2}mSv/MBq$ according to ICRP publication 106. Effective dose imparted by CT was calculated by multiplying DLP ( with ICRP conversion coefficient "k" 0.015 [mSv / (mG. cm)]. Results: Mean age of patients was $49{\pm}18$ years with a male to female ratio of 35:28 (56%:44%). Median dose of 18FDG given was 194 MBq (range: 139-293). Median CTDIvol was 3.25 (2.4-6.2) and median DLP was 334.95 (246.70 - 576.70). Estimated median effective dose imparted by $^{18}FDG$ was 3.69 mSv (range: 2.85-5.57). Similarly the estimated median effective dose by low dose (non-diagnostic) CT examination was 4.93 mSv (range: 2.14 -10.49). Median total effective dose by whole body 18FDG PET plus low dose non-diagnostic CT study was 8.85 mSv (range: 5.56-13.00). Conclusions: We conclude that the median effective dose from a whole body 18FDG PET/CT in our patients was significantly low. We suggest adhering to recently published dose reducing strategies, use of ToF scanner with CT dose reducing option to achieve the lower if not the lowest effective dose. This would certainly reduce the risk of second primary malignancy in younger patients with higher odds of cure from first primary cancer.


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