Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 117-121

Radiation-based quantitative bioimaging at the national institute of standards and technology

Ionizing Radiation Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr. MS 8460, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8460, USA

Correspondence Address:
Lisa R Karam
National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr. MS 8460, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8460
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6203.54843

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Building on a long history of providing physical measurements and standards for medical x rays and nuclear medicine radionuclides, the laboratory has expanded its focus to better support the extensive use of medical physics in the United States today, providing confidence in key results needed for drug and device development and marketing, therapy planning and efficacy and disease screening. In particular, to support more quantitative medical imaging, this laboratory has implemented a program to provide key measurement infrastructure to support radiation-based imaging through developing standard, benchmark phantoms, which contain radioactive sources calibrated to national measurement standards, to allow more quantitative imaging through traceable instrument calibration for clinical trials or patient management. Working closely with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Food and Drug Administration and Cornell University, this laboratory has taken the initial steps in developing phantoms, and the protocols to use them, for more accurate calibration of positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) cameras, including recently standardizing 68 Ge. X-ray measurements of the laboratory's recently developed small, resilient and inexpensive length standard phantom have shown the potential usefulness of such a "pocket" phantom for patient-based calibration of computed tomography (alone or with PET) systems. The ability to calibrate diagnostic imaging tools in a way that is traceable to national standards will lead to a more quantitative approach; both physician and patient benefit from increased accuracy in treatment planning, as well as increased safety for the patient.

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