Dose Optimization

The right test with the right dose should be given to the right patient at the right time. SNMMI continually strives to ensure patients receive the best, safest and most appropriate care.

In nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, small amounts of radioactive agents are administered to the patient to allow the physician to examine molecular processes within the body. These procedures are highly effective, safe and painless diagnostic tools that present physicians with a detailed view of what’s going on inside an individual’s body at the cellular level. For more than 60 years, these studies have been used to evaluate practically all systems within the body, including the heart and brain, as well as to image many types of cancer. 

Radiation dose for all nuclear medicine and molecular imaging procedures should be optimized so that the patient receives the smallest possible amount of radiopharmaceutical that will provide the appropriate diagnostic information. However, if an appropriate procedure—one that can provide the physician with clinical information essential to the patient’s treatment—is not performed when necessary due to fear of radiation, it can be detrimental to the patient. The right test with the right dose should be given to the right patient at the right time. When nuclear medicine and molecular imaging procedures are performed correctly on appropriate patients, the benefits of the procedure very far outweigh the potential risks.

SNMMI has a large body of knowledge in dose optimization that is continually growing and developing. Listed below are SNMMI journal articles, educational offerings, and other resources as well as media-related information and links to useful websites.

Pediatric Imaging Poster

SNMMI Position Statement on Dose Optimization for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Procedures

Paediatric Radiopharmaceutical Administration: Harmonized Guideline (2014)


Many articles related to dose optimization are published in SNMMI's journals, The Journal of Nuclear Medicine and the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Recent JNM Articles on Dose Optimization
Recent JNMT Articles on Dose Optimization



SNMMI participates in image gently, a campaign to change practice by increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

More information




SNMMI participates in Image Wisely, a campaign to lower the amount of radiation used in medically necessary imaging studies and eliminate unnecessary procedures.

More information


Application Tools

The two calculators below show the recommended administered activity according to SNMMI practice guidelines for pediatric and adult patients and estimates of the effective and critical organ dose for these procedures.

Nuclear Medicine
Radiation Dose Tool

With this tool, specify the nuclear medicine procedure, the injected activity, and the patient model (gender, age) to calculate the effective dose for this procedure.

Pediatric Injected Activity Tool

With this tool, specify the nuclear medicine procedure and the pediatric patient’s weight to find the recommended administered activity for the patient.

Press and Media

SNMMI is an excellent resource for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging news. Here you can find several types of news:

  • SNMMI News: Stay up-to-date with the latest from the society, including news on SNMMI initiatives, statements from leadership, grant and award information and other important updates.
  • Press Releases: SNMMI issues press releases on new research and society updates for members of the press and the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community.
  • Coding & Reimbursement News: SNMMI reports on and analyzes coding and reimbursement updates from the US government that impact the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. 
  • Government Relations News: SNMMI monitors legislative and regulatory issues within the US government and provides updates to members as to what it means for them and their practice. 
  • Molecular Imaging News/SmartBrief: Designed specifically for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging professionals, the SNMMI SmartBrief compiles molecular imaging and industry news on a daily basis (Monday-Friday).