Shortages of isotopes in the past two years have prompted imaging facilities to turn to other technologies that use fewer isotopes, such as single-photon emission computed tomography and hybrids like SPECT/CT, according to a report by DOTmed.
The shortage was sparked by shutting down a Canadian reactor, the source of half the U.S. supply of molybdenum-99, for repairs from May 2009 to Aug. 2010. During that time, wait times for procedures increased and patients were being turned down, said a molecular imaging expert at Siemens Healthcare.
The shortage also led some imaging facilities to turn to technologies like SPECT and SPECT/CT, which reduce isotope consumption through ultrafast imaging. Some facilities have even experimented with reducing doses during scans to determine whether they could provide the same quality.
Read the DOTmed report on isotopes for imaging.
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