Physics in Nuclear Medicine

Physics in Nuclear Medicine

by James A. Sorenson, Michael E. Phelps


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Physics in Nuclear Medicine by James A. Sorenson, Michael E. Phelps

Physics in Nuclear Medicine - by Drs. Simon R. Cherry, James A. Sorenson, and Michael E. Phelps - provides current, comprehensive guidance on the physics underlying modern nuclear medicine and imaging using radioactively labeled tracers. This revised and updated fourth edition features a new full-color layout, as well as the latest information on instrumentation and technology. Stay current on crucial developments in hybrid imaging (PET/CT and SPECT/CT), and small animal imaging, and benefit from the new section on tracer kinetic modeling in neuroreceptor imaging. What’s more, you can reinforce your understanding with graphical animations online at, along with the fully searchable text and calculation tools.

  • Master the physics of nuclear medicine with thorough explanations of analytic equations and illustrative graphs to make them accessible.
  • Discover the technologies used in state-of-the-art nuclear medicine imaging systems
  • Fully grasp the process of emission computed tomography with advanced mathematical concepts presented in the appendices.
  • Utilize the extensive data in the day-to-day practice of nuclear medicine practice and research.

Tap into the expertise of Dr. Simon Cherry, who contributes his cutting-edge knowledge in nuclear medicine instrumentation.

  • Stay current on the latest developments in nuclear medicine technology and methods
  • New sections to learn about hybrid imaging (PET/CT and SPECT/CT) and small animal imaging.
  • View graphical animations online at, where you can also access the fully searchable text and calculation tools.
  • Get a better view of images and line art and find information more easily thanks to a brand-new, full-color layout.

The perfect reference or textbook to comprehensively review physics principles in nuclear medicine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780808912385
Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
Publication date: 06/01/1980
Pages: 404

About the Author

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California - Davis, Davis, CA

Emeritus Professor of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI

Norton Simon Professor, Chair, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Chief, Division of Nuclear Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

Table of Contents

1What Is Nuclear Medicine?1
A.Fundamental Concepts1
B.The Power of Nuclear Medicine1
C.Historical Overview2
D.Current Practice of Nuclear Medicine3
E.The Role of Physics in Nuclear Medicine6
2Basic Atomic and Nuclear Physics7
A.Quantities and Units7
D.The Nucleus13
3Modes of Radioactive Decay19
A.General Concepts19
B.Chemistry and Radioactivity19
C.Decay by [beta superscript -] Emission20
D.Decay by ([beta superscript -], [gamma]) Emission22
E.Isomeric Transition (IT) and Internal Conversion (IC)23
F.Electron Capture (EC) and (EC, [gamma]) Decay24
G.Positron ([beta superscript +]) and ([beta superscript +], [gamma]) Decay25
H.Competitive [beta superscript +] and EC Decay27
I.Decay by [alpha] Emission and by Nuclear, Fission27
J.Decay Modes and the Line of Stability28
K.Sources of Information on Radionuclides30
4Decay of Radioactivity31
B.Exponential Decay32
C.Methods for Determining Decay Factors34
D.Image-Frame Decay Corrections36
E.Specific Activity38
F.Decay of a Mixed Radionuclide Sample40
G.Parent-Daughter Decay41
5Radionuclide and Radiopharmaceutical Production45
A.Reactor-Produced Radionuclides45
B.Accelerator-Produced Radionuclides49
C.Radionuclide Generators52
D.Equations for Radionuclide Production55
E.Radionuclides for Nuclear Medicine58
F.Radiopharmaceutical Preparation60
6Interaction of Radiation with Matter65
A.Interactions of Charged Particles with Matter65
B.Charged-Particle Ranges72
C.Passage of High-Energy Photons through Matter76
D.Attenuation of Photon Beams80
7Radiation Detectors89
A.Gas-Filled Detectors89
B.Semiconductor Detectors98
C.Scintillation Detectors100
8Electronic Instrumentation for Radiation Detection Systems109
C.Pulse-Height Analyzers115
D.Time-to-Amplitude Converters121
E.Digital Counters and Rate Meters121
F.Coincidence Units124
G.High-Voltage Power Supplies125
H.Nuclear Instrument Modules126
I.Cathode Ray Tube126
K.Computer Monitors129
9Nuclear Counting Statistics131
A.Types of Measurement Error131
B.Nuclear Counting Statistics132
C.Propagation of Errors135
D.Applications of Statistical Analysis136
E.Statistical Tests140
10Pulse-Height Spectrometry149
A.Basic Principles149
B.Spectrometry with Nal(TI)150
C.Spectrometry with Other Detectors160
11Problems in Radiation Detection and Measurement165
A.Detection Efficiency165
B.Problems in the Detection and Measurement of [beta] Particles176
C.Dead Time
D.Quality Assurance for Radiation Measurement Systems182
12Counting Systems185
A.Nal(TI) Well Counter185
B.Counting with Conventional Nal(TI) Detectors195
C.Liquid Scintillation Counters196
D.Gas-Filled Detectors203
E.Semiconductor Detector Systems205
F.In Vivo Counting Systems207
13The Gamma Camera: Basic Principles211
A.General Concepts of Radionuclide Imaging211
B.Basic Principles of the Gamma Camera212
C.Types of Gamma Cameras and Their Clinical Uses223
14The Gamma Camera: Performance Characteristics227
A.Basic Performance Characteristics227
B.Detector Limitations: Nonuniformity and Nonlinearity234
C.Design and Performance Characteristics of Parallel-Hole Collimators239
D.Performance Characteristics of Converging, Diverging, and Pinhole Collimators245
E.Measurements of Gamma Camera Performance247
15Image Quality in Nuclear Medicine253
A.Basic Methods for Characterizing and Evaluating Image Quality253
B.Spatial Resolution253
E.Observer Performance Studies268
16Tomographic Reconstruction in Nuclear Medicine273
A.General Concepts, Notation, and Terminology274
B.Backprojection and Fourier-Based Techniques276
C.Image Quality in Fourier Transform and Filtered Backprojection Techniques283
D.Iterative Reconstruction Algorithms291
E.Reconstruction of Fan-Beam and Cone-Beam Data294
17Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography299
A.SPECT Systems299
B.Practical Implementation of SPECT303
C.Performance Characteristics of SPECT Systems319
D.Clinical Applications of SPECT322
18Positron Emission Tomography325
A.Annihilation Coincidence Detection325
B.PET Detector and Scanner Designs342
C.Data Acquisition for PET350
D.Data Corrections and Quantitative Aspects of PET353
E.Clinical and Research Applications of PET358
19Digital Image Processing in Nuclear Medicine361
A.Digital Images362
B.Digital Image-Processing Techniques367
C.Processing Environment375
20Tracer Kinetic Modeling377
A.Basic Concepts377
B.Tracers and Compartments378
C.Tracer Delivery and Transport385
D.Formulation of a Compartmental Model388
E.Examples of Dynamic Imaging and Tracer Kinetic Models391
21Internal Radiation Dosimetry405
A.Radiation Dose and Equivalent Dose: Quantities and Units405
B.Calculation of Radiation Dose (MIRD Method)406
22Radiation Safety and Health Physics427
A.Quantities and Units428
B.Regulations Pertaining to the Use of Radionuclides430
C.Safe Handling of Radioactive Materials433
D.Disposal of Radioactive Waste439
E.Radiation Monitoring439
Appendix AUnit Conversions443
Appendix BProperties of the Elements444
Appendix CCharacteristics of Some Medically Important Radionuclides447
Appendix DMass Attenuation Coefficients for Water, Sodium lodide, BGO, CZT, and Lead479
Appendix EEffective Dose Equivalent (mSv/MBq) and Radiation Absorbed Dose Estimates (mGy/MBq) to Adult Subjects from Selected Internally Administered Radiopharmaceuticals480
Appendix FThe Fourier Transform483
A.The FT: What It Represents483
B.Calculating FTs484
C.Some Properties of FTs485
D.Some Examples of FTs488
Appendix GConvolutions493

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