On the use of solid 133Ba sources as surrogate for liquid 131I in SPECT/CT calibration: a European multi-centre evaluation

Johannes Tran-Gia, Ana M. Denis-Bacelar, Kelley M. Ferreira, Andrew P. Robinson, Christophe Bobin, Lara M. Bonney, Nicholas Calvert, Sean M. Collins, Andrew J. Fenwick, Domenico Finocchiaro, Federica Fioroni, Katerina Giannopoulou, Elisa Grassi, Warda Heetun, Stephanie J. Jewitt, Maria Kotzasarlidou, Michael Ljungberg, Valérie Lourenço, Daniel R. McGowan, Jamie Mewburn-CrookBenoit Sabot, James Scuffham, Katarina Sjögreen Gleisner, Jaroslav Solc, Cheick Thiam, Jill Tipping, Jill Wevrett, Michael Lassmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Commissioning, calibration, and quality control procedures for nuclear medicine imaging systems are typically performed using hollow containers filled with radionuclide solutions. This leads to multiple sources of uncertainty, many of which can be overcome by using traceable, sealed, long-lived surrogate sources containing a radionuclide of comparable energies and emission probabilities. This study presents the results of a quantitative SPECT/CT imaging comparison exercise performed within the MRTDosimetry consortium to assess the feasibility of using 133Ba as a surrogate for 131I imaging. Materials and methods: Two sets of four traceable 133Ba sources were produced at two National Metrology Institutes and encapsulated in 3D-printed cylinders (volume range 1.68–107.4 mL). Corresponding hollow cylinders to be filled with liquid 131I and a mounting baseplate for repeatable positioning within a Jaszczak phantom were also produced. A quantitative SPECT/CT imaging comparison exercise was conducted between seven members of the consortium (eight SPECT/CT systems from two major vendors) based on a standardised protocol. Each site had to perform three measurements with the two sets of 133Ba sources and liquid 131I. Results: As anticipated, the 131I pseudo-image calibration factors (cps/MBq) were higher than those for 133Ba for all reconstructions and systems. A site-specific cross-calibration reduced the performance differences between both radionuclides with respect to a cross-calibration based on the ratio of emission probabilities from a median of 12–1.5%. The site-specific cross-calibration method also showed agreement between 133Ba and 131I for all cylinder volumes, which highlights the potential use of 133Ba sources to calculate recovery coefficients for partial volume correction. Conclusion: This comparison exercise demonstrated that traceable solid 133Ba sources can be used as surrogate for liquid 131I imaging. The use of solid surrogate sources could solve the radiation protection problem inherent in the preparation of phantoms with 131I liquid activity solutions as well as reduce the measurement uncertainties in the activity. This is particularly relevant for stability measurements, which have to be carried out at regular intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalEJNMMI Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Free keywords

  • I
  • Ba
  • Barium-133
  • Calibration
  • Comparison exercise
  • Multi-centre
  • Quantitative SPECT/CT
  • Radioiodine
  • Solid surrogate source


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