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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2007;123(1):62-7. Epub 2006 Jul 6.

Radiation exposure for 'caregivers' during high-dose outpatient radioiodine therapy.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hamilton Health Sciences, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5.


On 27 occasions, radiation doses were measured for a family member designated as the 'caregiver' for a patient receiving high-dose radioiodine outpatient therapy for differentiated thyroid carcinoma. For 25 of the administrations, patients received 3.7 GBq of (131)I. Radiation doses for the designated caregivers were monitored on an hourly basis for 1 week using electronic personal dosemeters. The average penetrating dose was 98 +/- 64 microSv. The maximum penetrating dose was 283 microSv. Measured dose rate profiles showed that, on average, one-third of the caregiver dose was received during the journey home from hospital. The mean dose rate profile showed rapid clearance of (131)I with three distinct phases. The corresponding clearance half-times were <1 h, 21 h and approximately 8 d. These components were associated, respectively, with the drive home, the clearance of radioiodine from an athyreotic patient and small quantities of (131)I contaminating the home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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