Calculation of decision threshold and detection limit in radiometric measurements using a Monte Carlo Method
Journal article, 2020

Calculation of the decision threshold and detection limit of a measurement, or measurement method, are crucial in order to decide if an analyte is present or not and with what confidence it can be quantified. That decision is important in view of possible actions if something would be detected. In this work, a method for calculating these limits using a Monte Carlo method is presented. In the Monte Carlo method any a priori distribution (e.g. normal distribution, rectangular distribution, triangular distribution) of an input quantity can be selected. Differences between the Monte Carlo calculated characteristic limits and the ones calculated according to ISO 11929:2010 is presented. Moreover, suggestions how to calculate the detection limit when it can not be calculated according to the ISO 11929:2010 are given.


Decision threshold

Detection limit

Minimum detectable activity

Monte Carlo


Henrik Ramebäck

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

L. Persson

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Christian Ekberg

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material

P. Lindgren

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

M. Bruggeman

Belgian Nuclear Research Center

Applied Radiation and Isotopes

0969-8043 (ISSN)

Vol. 156 108949

Subject Categories

Subatomic Physics


Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging



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