18F-fluorothymidine radiation dosimetry in human PET imaging studies

Hubert Vesselle, John Grierson, Lanell M. Peterson, Mark Muzi, David A. Mankoff, Kenneth A. Krohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


3′-Deoxy-3′-18F-fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) is a PET imaging agent that shows promise for studying cellular proliferation in human cancers. FLT is a nucleoside analog that enters cells and is phosphorylated by human thymidine kinase 1, but the 3′ substitution prevents further incorporation into DNA. We estimated the radiation dosimetry for this tracer from data gathered in patient studies. Methods: Time-dependent tissue concentrations of radioactivity were determined from blood samples and PET images of 18 patients after intravenous injection of 18F-FLT. Radiation-absorbed doses were calculated using the MIRD Committee methods, taking into account variations that were based on the distribution of activities observed in the individual patients. Effective dose equivalent (EDE) was calculated using International Commission on Radiological Protection Publication 60 tissue weighting factors for the standard man and woman. Results: For a single bladder voiding at 6 h after 18F-FLT injection, the 18F-FLT EDE (mean ± SD) was 0.028 ± 0.012 mSv/MBq (103 ± 43 mrem/mCi) for a standard male patient and 0.033 ± 0.012 mSv/MBq (121 ± 43 mrem/mCi) for a standard female patient. The organ that received the highest dose was the bladder (male, 0.179 mGy/MBq [662 mrad/mCi]; female, 0.174 mGy/MBq [646 mrad/mCi]), followed by the liver (male, 0.045 mGy/MBq [167 mrad/mCi]; female, 0.064 mGy/ MBq [238 mrad/mCi]), the kidneys (male, 0.035 mGy/MBq [131 mrad/mCi]; female, 0.042 mGy/MBq [155 mrad/mCi]), and the bone marrow (male, 0.024 mGy/MBq [89 mrad/mCi]; female, 0.033 mGy/MBq [122 mrad/mCi]). Conclusion: Organ dose estimates for 18F-FLT are comparable to those associated with other commonly performed nuclear medicine tests, and the potential radiation risks associated with 18F-FLT PET imaging are within accepted limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1482-1488
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Dosimetry
  • F-fluorothymidine
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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