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Radioactive Sample Counting: Principles and Practice (Second edition)

IPEM report 85
Sofia Michopoulou, Peter O'Sullivan, Lucy Pike, Fergus McKiddie, John Keightley


IPEM Report 85 is a handbook for radioactive sample counters including Gamma Counters, Liquid Scintillation Detectors, Intraoperative Gamma Probes and Automatic blood sampling systems. The report summarises the physical principles of radioactivity detection and outlines the operational properties of sample counting across the different sample counting systems. This second edition builds upon and expands the original Report 85 first published in 2002. Even though the physical principles of sample counting remain the same, the counting equipment has improved, and its applications have diversified. The new edition includes updated information on counting equipment design and operation, (2) equipment specification and quality assurance procedures, and (3) worked examples of clinical, research and industrial applications of radioactive sample counting.

Key Features:

  • Update of counting equipment and protocols
  • Chapter on clinical and research applications
  • Worked examples of counting
  • Section for PET applications
  • Updated guidance on Equipment Specification and Quality Procedures

About Editors

Sofia Michopoulou - Sofia Michopoulou is a consultant clinical scientist, head of nuclear medicine physics and NIHR clinical lecturer at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). She supports the general nuclear medicine, SPECT/CT and PET/CT services at UHS, leads the introduction of new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and undertakes research in medical imaging and artificial intelligence. Sofia teaches medical imaging at BSc and MSc level at the University of Southampton and delivers part of the Fellows of Royal College of Radiology physics module.

Andrew Fenwick – Andrew Fenwick is a Senior Research Scientist at the UKs National Metrology Institute, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), and has provided standards in nuclear medicine for over 14 years. Having joined NPL in 2008 after studying for a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Wales (Aberystwyth), Andrew progressed his studies to obtain an M.Sc. in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation at the University of Surrey and a Ph.D. entitled "Traceable 89Zr Imaging in PET" at Cardiff University. His research portfolio has continued to expand but remains focussed on providing metrology for nuclear medicine services such as standards of radioactivity, nuclear data, radionuclide calibrators, SPECT/CT, PET/CT and PET/MR. Andrew has delivered teaching programmes and workshops nationally and internationally through various organisations, including the IAEA.

Fergus McKiddie – Fergus McKiddie is a consultant clinical scientist and MPE in PET and Nuclear Medicine at NHS Grampian and has worked at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for almost 30 years. Fergus leads the non-imaging, therapy and PET services and undertakes research in medical imaging and radiomics. He is teaching co-ordinator for the PET and Nuclear Medicine courses on the MSc in Medical Physics at the University of Aberdeen, leads the delivery of the physics curriculum for the Fellows of Royal College of Radiology trainees and is the local training co-ordinator for the Scottish Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering Training Scheme.

Peter O'Sullivan – Peter O'Sullivan is a Clinical Scientist and the Head of Nuclear Medicine in North Cumbria. He has worked in Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT for over twenty years. He is currently a Medical Physics Expert, Radiation Protection Advisor and Radioactive Waste Advisor and is an assessor for these roles. His varied career has included supporting clinical and research PET and Nuclear Medicine services as well as leading on the introduction of new Radionuclide Therapies. 

Lucy Pike –  Lucy Pike has over 15 years' experience working as a Clinical Scientist in nuclear medicine and PET at three major teaching hospitals. As Medical Physics Expert for the King's College London & Guy's and St Thomas' PET Centre she has been involved in the development of clinical and research protocols for PET/CT and PET/MR and has given lectures on SPECT and PET/CT physics, quality control and commissioning at postgraduate level. Lucy also established a network of accredited UK PET sites for performing high quality clinical trials following standardised procedures and input into national and international guidelines for PET.

Anne-Marie Stapleton - Anne-Marie Stapleton is a Clinical Scientist and Medical Physics Expert at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust (RSFT).  She contributes to the full range of PET, diagnostic and therapeutic Nuclear Medicine services offered by the Trust and the Outside Centres RSFT supports.  She is a nuclear medicine therapy lead at the Trust and works on clinical trials and therapy service development.

Table of Contents

Radioactive Sample Counters: Principles and Practice


List of Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1 - Physical Principles of Radiation Detection in Sample Counters

CHAPTER 2- Nucleonic Equipment


CHAPTER 4 - Gamma Counters

CHAPTER 5 - Intra-operative gamma probes

CHAPTER 6 - Liquid Scintillation Counting

CHAPTER 7 - Automatic Blood Sampling Systems (ABBS)

CHAPTER 8 - Uncertainties in measurements from radioactivity sample counters

CHAPTER 9 - Data Analysis

CHAPTER 10 - Clinical and Research Applications of Sample Counters

Appendix 1 – Troubleshooting Gamma Counters

Appendix 2 – Troubleshooting Gamma Probes 


Hardback ISBN: 9780750338936

Ebook ISBN: 9780750338950

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

Series: IPEM-IOP Series in Physics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology


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