Positron emission tomography (PET), after having spent 20 years or more being developed within the research environment, has now emerged as a clinical diagnostic tool. This means that PET facilities are now being located in imaging departments of nuclear medicine and radiology within the hospital environment. In most cases, these facilities were not designed for the higher-energy annihilation radiation of PET tracers. In addition, many of the approaches already employed in the nuclear medicine departments to reduce radiation exposure need to be re-thought to implement with PET, again due to the higher-energy nature of the radiation.
This chapter will discuss many of the radiation safety issues that have arisen from the transition of PET from the research/university environment into the clinical environment.
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