Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 64–70 | Cite as

Diagnostic Reference Levels for Adult Nuclear Medicine Imaging Established from the National Survey in Korea

  • Ho-Chun SongEmail author
  • Myung Hwan Na
  • Jahae Kim
  • Sang-Geon Cho
  • Jin Kyung Park
  • Keon-Wook Kang
  • Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine Diagnostic Reference Level Task Force
Original Article



There is substantial need for optimizing radiation protection in nuclear medicine imaging studies. However, the diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) have not yet been established for nuclear medicine imaging studies in Korea.

Materials and Methods

The data of administered activity in 32 nuclear medicine imaging studies were collected from the Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine (KSNM) dose survey database from 2013 and 2014. Through the expert discussions and statistical analyses, the 75th quartile value (Q3) was suggested as the preliminary DRL values. Preliminary DRLs were subjected to approval process by the KSNM Board of Directors and KSNM Council, followed by clinical applications and performance rating by domestic institutes.


DRLs were determined through 32 nuclear medicine imaging studies. The Q3 value was considered as appropriate selection as it was generally consistent with the most commonly administered activity. In the present study, the final version of initial DRL values for nuclear medicine imaging in Korean adults is described including various protocols of the brain and myocardial perfusion imaging.


The first DRLs for nuclear medicine imaging in Korean adults were confirmed. The DRLs will enable optimized radiation protection in the field of nuclear medicine imaging in Korea.


Diagnostic reference level Radiopharmaceutical Dose optimization Nuclear medicine imaging 



We would like to thank the Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine Diagnostic Reference Level Task Force members including Drs. Min-Woo Kim (Presbyterian Medical Center), Byung Il Kim (Korean Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences), Seong-Min Kim (Chungnam National University Hospital), Hyun-Yeol Nam (Samsung Changwon Hospital), Jin-Sook Ryu (Asan Medical Center), Ju Won Seok (Chung-Ang University Hospital), Byeong-Cheol Ahn (Kyungpook National University Hospital), Sun Young Oh (National Police Hospital), Young Hoon Ryu (Gangnam Severance Hospital), Ie Ryung Yoo (Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital), Yukyung Lee (National Medical center), Seok Tae Lim (Chonbuk National University Hospital), Ihnho Cho (Yeungnam University Hospital), Yun Young Choi (Hanyang University Medical Center), Joon Young Choi (Samsung Medical Center), Seung Jin Choi (Radiation Health Research Institute), Tae-Sung Kim (National Cancer Center), Eun Jeong Lee (Seoul Medical Center), Young Jin Jeong (Dong-A University Hospital), Young-Jun Heo (Suncheon St. Carollo Hospital), and the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) for a valuable contribution to establishing the first diagnostic reference level for nuclear medicine imaging in Korea.


This study was funded by the Nuclear Safety Research Program through the Korea Radiation Safety Foundation (KORSAFe) and the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC), Republic of Korea (Grant No. 1305033).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ho-Chun Song has received research grants from the Nuclear Safety Research Program through the Korea Radiation Safety Foundation (KORSAFe) and the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC), Republic of Korea (Grant No. 1305033).

Myung Hwan Na, Jahae Kim, Sang-Geon Cho, Jin Kyung Park, Keon-Wook Kang, and the other members of the Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine Diagnostic Reference Level Task Force declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

The requirement to obtain informed consent was waived in this non-human-subject study.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ho-Chun Song
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Myung Hwan Na
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jahae Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sang-Geon Cho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Kyung Park
    • 2
    • 3
  • Keon-Wook Kang
    • 4
  • Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine Diagnostic Reference Level Task Force
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineChonnam National University HospitalGwangjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Medical Radiation Safety Research CenterGwangjuSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsChonnam National UniversityGwangjuSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Cancer Research InstituteSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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