Research and analysis

Nuclear medicine in the UK in 2003 and 2004: a survey

This report (HPA-RPD-003) gives the results of a survey of current procedures, collective dose and average activities in 2003 and 2004.



The primary objectives of this survey were

  • to assess trends in the frequency of different nuclear medicine procedures in comparison with the previous national surveys

  • to determine the annual collective effective dose to the UK population from nuclear medicine and the relative contributions of different procedures

  • to review the average activities administered by nuclear medicine departments and compare them with guidance on diagnostic reference levels issued by the Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee (ARSAC).

The results of this survey showed that the total number of procedures performed annually had increased by 36% over the previous ten years. Bone scans continued to be the most frequent procedure. Lung perfusion and myocardial perfusion imaging were also very common procedures.

The annual collective effective dose from diagnostic nuclear medicine was about 1600 man sievert.

The activities administered for most procedures adhere closely to those recommended by ARSAC.