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EJNMMI Radiopharm Chem. 2019 Jun 13;4(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s41181-019-0061-8.

Have you looked for "stranger things" in your automated PET dose dispensing system? A process and operators qualification scheme.

Author information

1
Radiopharmacie Hôpital Nord AP-HM, Marseille, France.
2
Radiopharmacie Hôpital Timone AP-HM, Marseille, France.
3
CERIMED, CNRS 2012, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France.
4
C2VN, INRA 1260, INSERM 1263, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France.
5
Radiopharmacie Hôpital Nord AP-HM, Marseille, France. philippe.garrigue@univ-amu.fr.
6
CERIMED, CNRS 2012, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France. philippe.garrigue@univ-amu.fr.
7
C2VN, INRA 1260, INSERM 1263, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France. philippe.garrigue@univ-amu.fr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many nuclear medicine departments have equipped themselves with automated dispensing systems (ADS) for PET radiopharmaceuticals, in both the operators' and the patients' interests. Whether partially or fully automated, to date there is no marketed ADS representing a true "closed-system". Despite the sterile, injectable nature of ready-to-use radiopharmaceutical drug solutions manipulated by these systems, neither manufacturer's recommendation nor literature report was found about specific qualification of the process' sterility, or about operators' qualification on these dispensing systems. We set up a master plan validation in a radiopharmacy equipped with Trasis Unidose®, including: 1) monthly process-simulating media-fill tests and microbiological contamination assessments of the ADS surfaces; 2) initial and periodic qualification of the operators. The microbiological qualification consisted in surface biocontamination assessment on critical zones with Tryptic-Soy agar. The operator qualification consisted in the evaluation of the operators' knowledge and skills for using the ADS.

RESULTS:

This study highlighted a minor, handborne microbiological contamination on our first assessment, that corrective actions solved. We therefore decided to brief our operators once a month on microbiological control results, hygiene and good practices, with the support of the present case illustrating the biodecontamination efficiency.

CONCLUSIONS:

As the automation of PET monodose conditioning process still implies human intervention for material preparation and manual biodecontamination, this study illustrates that initial and periodic qualification of the environment and the conditioning process of ADS, including microbiological qualification and operators' qualification, are needed to meet specifications.

KEYWORDS:

Dispensing system; PET; Qualification; Radiopharmaceuticals

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