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First comparisons of 18F activity using the SIR Transfer Instrument

Until recently, 18F international activity comparisons were restricted to laboratories that were geographically close to the BIPM, so that this 1.8 h half-life radionuclide could be transported quickly to the BIPM for measurement in the SIR. No world-wide comparison and degree of equivalence could be obtained for overseas NMIs, a situation that was unsatisfactory for such an important radionuclide for nuclear medicine that is widely used in positron emission tomography (PET) scans.

The SIRTI (SIR Transfer Instrument) was developed at the BIPM about nine years ago. It is based on a travelling scintillation detector calibrated against the SIR that has shown a very high reproducibility since 2007, with a relative standard deviation of 2 × 10−4 for the count rate of the 94Nb reference source measured world-wide. The SIRTI has been used successfully world-wide for 99mTc (6 h half-life) activity comparisons and degrees of equivalence were published for seven NMIs for this other very important radionuclide in nuclear medicine. Recently, the SIRTI was further developed for measuring 18F and validated through measurements at the NPL (UK) who had already participated directly in the SIR in 2003.

The first SIRTI 18F comparisons, BIPM.RI(II)-K4.Tc-99m, took place in 2014 at the VNIIM (Russian Federation), NPL (UK) and ENEA-LNMRI (Italy). The comparisons were successful and the results were presented at the International Committee for Radionuclide Metrology (ICRM) conference in Vienna in June 2015. Many other NMIs are now registered to participate in this comparison: ANSTO (Australia), BARC (India), CNEA (Argentina), IFIN-HH (Romania), KRISS (Republic of Korea), LNMRI/IRD (Brazil), NIM (China), NIST (USA), NMIJ (Japan), NMISA (South Africa), NRC (Canada) and POLATOM (Poland).

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