Nuclear medicine practice in Japan: a report of the eighth nationwide survey in 2017

Yoshihiro Nishiyama, Seigo Kinuya, Takashi Kato, Daiki Kayano, Shuhei Sato, Manabu Tashiro, Mitsuaki Tatsumi, Teisuke Hashimoto, Shingo Baba, Kenji Hirata, Mana Yoshimura, Hiroto Yoneyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Subcommittee on Survey of Nuclear Medicine Practice in Japan has performed a nationwide survey of nuclear medicine practice every 5 years since 1982 to survey contemporary nuclear medicine practice and its changes over the years. Methods: The subcommittee sent questionnaires, including the number and category of examinations as well as the kind and dose of the radiopharmaceuticals during the 30 days of June 2017, to all nuclear medicine institutes. The total numbers for the year 2017 were then estimated. Results: A total of 1132 institutes responded to the survey, including 351 PET centers. The recovery rate was 90.6%. The number of gamma cameras installed was 1332 in total, with 7.0% decrease in 5 years. Dual-head cameras and hybrid SPECT/CT scanners accounted for 88.2 and 23.6%, respectively. The number of single-photon tracer studies in 2017 was 1.08 million which means a decrease in 5.7% in 5 years and 23.6% in 10 years. All but neurotransmitter system, sentinel lymph node, and liver scintigraphy decreased. Bone scintigraphy was a leading examination (32.3%), followed by myocardial scintigraphy (24.1%) and cerebral perfusion study (18.0%) in order. SPECT studies showed an increase from 47.2% to 63.5%. PET centers have also increased from 295 to 389, as compared to the last survey. The 112 PET centers have installed one or two in-house cyclotrons. PET studies showed 24.5% increase in 5 years, with oncology accounting for 88.9%. 18F-FDG accounted for 98.2% (630,570 examinations). PET examinations using 11C-methionine have decreased, with 2440 examinations in 2017. PET examinations using 13N-NH3 have been increasing, with 2363 examinations in 2017. The number of PET studies using 11C-PIB was 904. 131I-radioiodine targeted therapies showed an increase in 5 years (23.1%), including 4487 patients for thyroid cancer. Out-patient thyroid bed ablation therapy with 1,110 MBq of 131I accounted for 36.6% of cancer patients. The number of admission rooms increased from 135 to 157 in 5 years. The number of 223Ra targeted therapies for castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer was 1194 patients. Conclusions: Single-photon examinations showed a continuous tendency toward a decline in the survey. In contrast, the number of hybrid SPECT/CT scanner examinations has increased. PET/CT study and radionuclide targeted therapy have steadily increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-732
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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