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Simplicity or complexity of the radiopharmaceutical production process in the light of optimization of radiation protection of staff – 99mTc vs. 18F

Uniwersytet Łódzki / University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Wydział Fizyki i Informatyki Stosowanej, Katedra Fizyki Jądrowej i Bezpieczeństwa Radiacyjnego / Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics, Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Safety)
Med Pr 2018;69(3):317–327
Background: A radiopharmaceutical is a combination of a non-radioactive compound with a radioactive isotope. Two isotopes: technetium- 99m (99mTc) and fluorine-18 (18F) are worth mentioning on the rich list of isotopes which have found numerous medical applications. Their similarity is limited only to the diagnostic area of applicability. The type and the energy of emitted radiation, the half-life and, in particular, the production method demonstrate their diversity. The 99mTc isotope is produced by a short-lived nuclide generator – molybdenum-99 (99Mo)/99mTc, while 18F is resulting from nuclear reaction occurring in a cyclotron. A relatively simple and easy handling of the 99Mo/99mTc generator, compared to the necessary use a cyclotron, seems to favor the principle of optimizing the radiological protection of personnel. The thesis on the effect of automation of both the 18F isotope production and the deoxyglucose labelling process on the optimization of radiological protection of workers compared to manual procedures during handling of radiopharmaceuticals labelled with 99mTc need to be verified. Material and Methods: Measurements of personal dose equivalent Hp(0.07) were made in 5 nuclear medicine departments and 2 radiopharmaceuticals production centers. High-sensitivity thermoluminescent detectors (LiF: Mg, Cu, P – MCP-N) were used to determine the doses. Results: Among the activities performed by employees of both 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) production centers and nuclear medicine departments, the manual quality control procedures and labelling of radiopharmaceuticals with 99mTc isotope manifest the greatest contribution to the recorded Hp(0.07). Conclusions: The simplicity of obtaining the 99mTc isotope as well as the complex, but fully automated production process of the 18F-FDG radiopharmaceutical optimize the radiation protection of workers, excluding manual procedures labelling with 99mTc or quality control of 18F-FDG. Med Pr 2018;69(3):317–327
Małgorzata Wrzesień   
Uniwersytet Łódzki, Wydział Fizyki i Informatyki Stosowanej, Katedra Fizyki Jądrowej i Bezpieczeństwa Radiacyjnego, ul. Pomorska 149/153, 90-236 Łódź