DOI: 10.1186/s40658-017-0174-7Pages: 1-15

Accuracy and precision assessment for activity quantification in individualized dosimetry of 177Lu-DOTATATE therapy

1. Institut Jules Bordet-Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Department of Medical Physics

2. Institut Jules Bordet-Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Department of Nuclear Medicine

3. Ghent University (UGent), Medical Imaging and Signal Processing (MEDISIP), Department of Electronics and Information Systems (ELIS), Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA)

Correspondence to:
Gwennaëlle Marin
Tel: +32 (0) 2 541 30 02




In order to obtain a reliable 177Lu-DOTATATE therapy dosimetry, it is crucial to acquire accurate and precise activity measurements with the radionuclide calibrator, the SPECT/CT camera, and the NaI(Tl) well counter. The aim of this study was to determine, in a clinical context, the accuracy and the precision of their activity quantification over a range of activities and time.

Ninety-three 177Lu sources from the manufacturer were measured in the radionuclide calibrator over 2.5 years to evaluate its calibration accuracy and precision compared to the manufacturer’s value. A NEMA 2012/IEC 2008 phantom was filled with a 177Lu activity concentration sphere-to-background ratio of five. It was acquired with the SPECT/CT camera to determine the reconstruction parameters offering the best compromise between partial volume effect and signal-to-noise ratio. The calibration factor was computed accordingly. The calibration quality was monitored over 2.5 years with 33 phantom acquisitions with activities ranging from 7040 to 0.6 MBq. Home-made sources were used to calibrate the well counter. Its reliability was evaluated with activities ranging from 150 to 0.2 kBq measured 34 times over 2.5 years.


For the radionuclide calibrator, median [interquartile range] for the error on activity measurement was −0.99 [1.31] %. The optimal SPECT reconstruction parameters were obtained with 16 iterations, 16 subsets and a 12-mm Gaussian post-filter. The calibration factor was 9.87 cps/MBq with an error of −1.05 [2.12] %. The well counter was calibrated with 31.5 cps/kBq, and the error was evaluated to −12.89 [16.55] %.


The accuracy and the precision of activity quantification using dedicated quality control were found to be sufficient for use in dosimetry implemented in clinical routine. The proposed methodology could be implemented in other centres to obtain reproducible 177Lu-based treatment dosimetry.

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  • Accepted: Jan 14, 2017
  • Online: Jan 26, 2017

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