National Diagnostic Reference Levels for Nuclear Medicine in Kuwait



The diagnostic reference level (DRL) is a patient-exposure optimization tool used to evaluate and provide guidance for radiation doses in medical imaging. In the past few decades, there has been a global increase in the number of diagnostic imaging procedures, including nuclear medicine procedures, and consequently in patient radiation exposure. This increase has encouraged international and national health-care organizations to take action and keep up with such changes to meet the expectation of increasing use of ionizing radiation in medicine. Methods: DRLs in Kuwait were established by investigating the administered activity of radiopharmaceuticals and CT radiation doses in hybrid imaging systems. The DRLs were determined on the basis of the 75th percentile of radiopharmaceutical administered activity distribution as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Results: The DRLs determined in Kuwait agree well with other published DRLs in Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia, and the United States. Conclusion: This study presents the establishment process and the results of the first national DRLs for nuclear medicine procedures in Kuwait as a way to optimize radiation exposure.

Keywords: ALARA dose optimization; DRL; hybrid imaging; radiation exposure; radiation safety.