SNMMI Press Releases
June 11, 2012
SNM Releases Radiation Dose Optimization Position Statement
Not performing appropriate procedures due to fear of radiation can be detrimental to the patient, SNM says
Miami Beach, Fla.—The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) released a position statement on dose optimization for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging procedures today at a press conference at the SNM 2012 Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla. The statement kicks off a new dose optimization initiative by the society.
“We firmly believe that radiation dose for all nuclear medicine and molecular imaging procedures should be optimized by ensuring that the patient receives the minimum radiation dose necessary to provide useful diagnostic information,” said SNM president Frederic H. Fahey, DSc “At the same time, we need to explain and reinforce that when a procedure offers useful clinical information that will help physicians decide on a patient’s treatment, the benefits of the procedure far outweigh its very small potential risk.”
With the release of the position statement, SNM announced a new initiative to provide information and guidance regarding dose optimization to imaging professionals, referring physicians and the public. The initiative will comprise a range of activities, including a website and other communication vehicles for dose optimization information, education, guidelines and other resources.
The position statement recognizes that the use of low levels of radiation in nuclear medicine procedures carries some possible risk. However, if an appropriate procedure—one that can provide the physician with clinical information essential to the patient’s treatment—is not performed when necessary due to fear of radiation, it can be detrimental to the patient. The society stresses that the “right test with the right dose should be given to the right patient at the right time.”
When that is done, nuclear medicine scans can eliminate the need for invasive surgery, along with its associated risks. It can also help doctors tailor treatment of disease, bypassing what could have been months of ineffective, costly and perhaps painful treatment.
Annually, more than 17 million men, women and children undergo safe, noninvasive nuclear medicine and molecular imaging procedures with state-of-the-art imaging technologies—including positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT) scans—to imagebiological targets or pathways in the body to help diagnose disease and treat disease and evaluate how well treatment is working.
About SNM—Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy
SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising publicawareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated.
SNM’s more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit www.snm.org.