Radiolabeled exendin is used for non-invasive quantification of beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in vivo. High accumulation of radiolabeled exendin in the islets raised concerns about possible radiation-induced damage to these islets in man. In this work, islet absorbed doses resulting from exendin-imaging were calculated by combining whole organ dosimetry with small scale dosimetry for the islets. Our model contains the tissues with high accumulation of radiolabeled exendin: kidneys, pancreas and islets. As input for the model, data from a clinical study (radiolabeled exendin distribution in the human body) and from a preclinical study with Biobreeding Diabetes Prone (BBDP) rats (islet-to-exocrine uptake ratio, beta cell mass) were used. We simulated 111 In-exendin and 68 Ga-exendin absorbed doses in patients with differences in gender, islet size, beta cell mass and radiopharmaceutical uptake in the kidneys. In all simulated cases the islet absorbed dose was small, maximum 1.38 mGy for 68 Ga and 66.0 mGy for 111 In. The two sources mainly contributing to the islet absorbed dose are the kidneys (33-61%) and the islet self-dose (7.5-57%). In conclusion, all islet absorbed doses are low (<70 mGy), so even repeated imaging will hardly increase the risk on diabetes.

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Journal Scientific Reports
Van Der Kroon, I. (Inge), Woliner-Van Der Weg, W, Brom, M, Joosten, L, Frielink, C, Konijnenberg, M, … Gotthardt, M. (2017). Whole organ and islet of Langerhans dosimetry for calculation of absorbed doses resulting from imaging with radiolabeled exendin. Scientific Reports, 7. doi:10.1038/srep39800