Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Thyroid treatment can trigger homeland security detectors


Medical procedures such as iodine therapy, a popular thyroid treatment, can result in patients triggering radiation detectors for up to three months after treatment, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures, including FDG PET scans, bone scans and cardiac scans, can have a similar effect, although for shorter periods. "The nuclear medicine community has been aware that patients set off detectors, but now we expect it to become a more common occurrence with the increasing number of extremely sensitive portable Homeland Security radiation detectors deployed among security personnel," said the study’s author, Lionel Zuckier, M.D., a radiology professor at the New Jersey Medical School - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and director of nuclear medicine and PET at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. "Our study helps estimate the amount of time following a procedure that these detectors can still be triggered."

The amount of radiation a patient receives in a typical nuclear medicine imaging procedure is comparable to that received from an x-ray and poses no danger to the public.

Radiopharmaceuticals are radioactively labeled drugs that interact with specific organs or tissues and can be imaged using specialized cameras and computers. In therapeutic procedures, greater amounts of radioactivity are directed to specific tissues, and patients may be sequestered from the public for several days.

In their study, Dr. Zuckier and colleagues estimated the maximum length of time that diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals could set off radiation detectors such as those used for Homeland Security purposes, specifically:

  • FDG PET scan – less than 24 hours
  • Bone and thyroid scans – 3 days
  • Cardiac exams with thallium – up to 30 days
  • Iodine therapy – up to 95 days

Dr. Zuckier supports the recommendations made by the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that hospitals develop an official letter or card indicating what type of nuclear medicine procedure a patient received, the date of service and whom to call at the hospital for verification.

"Physicians need to make their patients aware of the need to carry proper documentation following a nuclear medicine procedure," Dr. Zuckier said. "This study suggests guidelines as to how long this documentation should be retained."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that 10,000 portable radiation detectors have been procured by state, local and federal officials at borders and ports of entry to prevent smuggling and illicit use of radioactive materials.

In 2002, 18.4 million nuclear medicine imaging and therapeutic procedures were performed, a 9.5 percent increase from 2001, SNM reported.

Dr. Zuckier’s study co-authors are Gary S. Garetano, M.P.H., Matthew A. Monetti, M.S., Venkata K. Lanka, M.S., and Michael G. Stabin, Ph.D.

Doug Dusik | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>