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Child-specific doses for pediatric PET patients
Date:2/1/2010

Reston, Va. Studies have shown positron emission tomography's (PET) value as a minimally invasive, painless and safe diagnostic tool for many pediatric conditions. In a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM), researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) gathered data that may provide clinicians with new formulasspecific to pediatricsto calculate the amount of radiotracer that should be injected based on the patient's weight.

"These findings mean that PETa very common nuclear medicine procedurecan be used in children with methods that are even more patient-specific than those currently employed," said Roberto Accorsi, Ph.D., former research assistant professor of radiology at CHOP-Penn and lead author of the study.

This study is one more contribution to the medical imaging community's overall efforts to reduce radiation dose to children. Nuclear medicine specialists are continuously refining methodologies in order to preserve image quality and minimize radiation exposure during pediatric PET exams. Since medical research published in recent years highlights the health risks of exposure to ionizing radiation, many have looked to the medical community for ways to curb exposure during medical imaging exams. Although the nuclear medicine exam's benefits to the patient far outweigh any potential risks associated with radiation, the nuclear medicine community seeks to uphold practices that are consistent and mindful of patients' concerns.

In nuclear medicine, there are well-established guidelines for administering radiopharmaceutical doses for adults; however, there is little guidance for administering pediatric doses. Thus, the CHOP-Penn study sets out to examine how nuclear medicine physicians can take into consideration a child's lighter weight and body size and adjust the dose and scan time accordingly, while maintaining high-quality
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Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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