Nuclear Medicine - What can I do as a Parent?

Be Your Child’s Champion! It is now possible to “child-size” the amount of radiation used for any nuclear medicine test. There are many ways to decrease the radiation dose in children without reducing the quality. Ask questions to your pediatrician or radiologist/nuclear medicine physician and tell them about this website. 

What is Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging?
Nuclear imaging is a type of test used by doctors where small amounts of special substances caller “radiotracers” or “radiopharmaceuticals” are used to look at the different organs of your child’s body and how they are working. These substances are usually injected into the blood and travel to different parts of the body to show the problem to the doctor. Nuclear medicine tests give information different from CT scans, MRI or X-rays. They provide images of how your body is working rather than what it looks like. Nuclear medicine tests can sometimes detect medical problems before they are seen with other types of medical tests.

Nuclear medicine drugs can also be used for treatment of some types of cancers and thyroid problems. 

Molecular imaging is a medical field that looks at different diseases down to the level of the functions of cells and molecules. A disease can be diagnosed and treated better according to how it acts in each person’s body. 

To learn more, visit the website of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).
 
 

Commonly done nuclear medicine tests in children 

• What You Should Know About Radiation and Nuclear Medicine (PowerPoint presentation prepared by Dr. Frederic Fahey DSc, FACR, FAAPM)

FAQs

• Additional reading material and resources
 RadiologyInfo.org - the informational website for patients
 hps.org/publicinformation - Health Physics Society Public Information Page
 www.SNMMI.org/dose - Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 
 

Note to Physicians and other caregivers: The documents found on these pages may be downloaded and reproduced at your institution.  You may affix your logo with the designation: "printed courtesy of X."

Nuclear Medicine Resources

Medical Professionals

Parents

 

Radiation Dose Resources

SNMMI’s Dose Optimization Task Force has created two new online tools to help educate imaging professionals on best practices for pediatric and adult nuclear medicine:

 

The Pediatric Injected Activity Tool reports recommended injected activity for pediatric patients based on the North American consensus guidelines and the European Association of Nuclear Medicine guidelines. With this tool, specify the nuclear medicine procedure and the pediatric patient’s weight to find the recommended administered activity for the patient.

The Nuclear Medicine Radiation Dose Tool provides convenient access to guidelines and radiation dose estimates (effective dose and critical organ dose) for many nuclear medicine exams. With this tool, specify the nuclear medicine procedure, the injected activity, and the patient model (gender, age) to calculate the effective dose for this procedure.

 

 

Acknowledgements

S. Ted Treves, MD, Chair
Image Gently Nuclear Medicine Initiative 

Michael J. Gelfand,  MD, Past-President
SNMMI Pediatric Imaging Council, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Marguerite T. Parisi, MD, MS Ed., Chair
SPR Nuclear Medicine Committee, Seattle Children's Hospital

Larry Binkovitz, MD, President
SNMMI Pediatric Imaging Council, Mayo Clinic

Stephanie Spottswood, MD, Sec-Treasurer
SNMMI Pediatric Imaging Council, Vanderbilt University

Frederic Fahey, DSc, Physicist,
Children's Hospital Boston

Dominique Delbeke, MD, PhD, 2009-10
SNMMI President, Vanderbilt University 

Nanci A. Burchell, MBA, CNMT, FSNMTS
Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, MO

Joanne Louis, CNMT, Children's Hospital Boston
Adam Alessio, PhD, Medical Physicist, Seattle Children's

 

 

Parent Brochures

Click on the links below for the version of the informational brochure you prefer.

My Child's Imaging Record

Downloads Below

For tracking the date, type of exam and where the  study was performed:


Helpful to both care-providers and parents: tracking the number of radiologic studies children are exposed to helps inform treating physicians of recent similar exams, helping  them to decide if exams are necessary. Tracking the number of exams and location where  the images are stored can be helpful in alerting families and their care providers to the issue  of radiation safety.  Similar to an immunization record, use your choice of record size  to record where and when a study was performed. This is particularly important when medical care is provided by a variety of physicians/ emergency rooms/ hospitals and can  help decrease the number of repetitive exams. Two convenient sizes are available for download below.

2 x 3.5 Wallet

 

8.5 x 11