Purpose The aim of this study was to glean from accreditation surveys of US nuclear medicine facilities the in-practice radiopharmaceutical diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) and achievable administered activities (AAAs) for adult gamma camera myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). Methods Data were collected from the ACR Nuclear Medicine Accreditation Program during one three-year accreditation cycle from May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2015. Data elements included radiopharmaceutical, administered activity, examination protocol, interpreting physician specialty, practice type, and facility annual examination volume. Facility demographics, DRLs, and AAAs were tabulated for analysis. Results The calculated DRLs and AAAs are consistent with previously published surveys, and they adhere to national societal guidelines. Facilities seeking ACR accreditation are nearly evenly split between hospital based with multiple gamma cameras and office based with single gamma cameras. The majority of facilities use single-day, low-dosage/high-dosage 99mTc-based protocols; a small minority use 201TlCl protocols. Administered activities show a consistency across facilities, likely reflecting adoption of standard MPI protocols. Conclusions This practice-based analysis provides DRL and AAA benchmarks that nuclear medicine facilities may use to refine gamma camera MPI protocols. In general, the protocols submitted for ACR accreditation are consistent with national societal guidelines. The results suggest that there may be opportunities to further reduce patient radiation exposure by using modified examination protocols and newer gamma camera software and hardware technologies.
- Myocardial perfusion imaging
- diagnostic reference levels
- patient radiation exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging