As part of the Secure the Cities campaign initiated after 9/11, many police departments and state agencies received grants from the federal government to purchase sensitive radiation monitoring devices for use by on-duty police officers, firefighters, and emergency responders. This article in Police Chief Magazine explains the history and intent of the program. In many cases, police were issued the Thermo Scientific RadEye PRD.
In Connecticut last Wednesday, a man returning from a nuclear stress test was stopped by a state trooper with a RadEye personal radiation detector.
Midbrain slice of a SPECT DaTSCAN image showing normal striatal morphology
Darius Rubas, CNMT, lead nuclear medicine technologist at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, IL, introduced us to DaTscan, the GE trademark name for Ioflupane Iodine-123 injection. DaTscan is the first FDA-approved radiopharmaceutical adjunct imaging agent to help physicians evaluate patients with suspected parkinsonian syndromes (PS), such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). St. Alexius Medical Center is among the first hospitals in the Chicagoland area to offer DaTscan in a routine nuclear medicine imaging procedure.
DaTscan is a radiopharmaceutical imaging agent that works by binding to dopamine transporters (DaT) in the brain, and gives physicians adjunctive diagnostic capability that may help lead to timely and appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
PS occurs when the brain does not get enough dopamine to perform certain functions. This affects the ability of the brain to control movement and other muscle functions. According to GE Healthcare, DaTscan is an adjunct to other diagnostic evaluations that help differentiate essential tremor (ET) – a common movement disorder – from tremors due to PS. The effectiveness of DaTscan as a screening or confirmatory test for monitoring disease progression or response to therapy hasn’t been established, however. WGN Chicago recently aired a three minute video describing the new DaTscan benefits.
The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging recently published consensus guidelines for pediatric imaging studies in nuclear medicine. These pediatric imaging guidelines are printed on a poster that you may download and post in your nuclear medicine hot lab.