Nuclear medicine imaging uses small quantities of radioactive materials described as radiotracers that are typically injected into the bloodstream, inhaled or swallowed. The radiotracer travels through the area being monitored and gives off energy in the form of gamma rays which are detected by a specific camera and a computer to produce images of the inside of your body.
Nuclear medicine imaging presents unique information that often cannot be obtained using other imaging methods and offers the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages. Physicians can get dual certification in Internal Medicine and Nuclear Medicine by finishing 4 years of combined accredited training. To know more about internal medicine visit the Internal Medicine Journal.
Why Are Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Different?
In general diagnostic imaging, a visible source of energy such as x-rays, magnetic fields or ultrasound waves is utilized to produce pictures of bone and soft tissue. In nuclear medicine and molecular imaging methods, the energy source is introduced into the body, where it gets combined in a specific tissue, organ or process and is then detected by an external device (gamma camera, SPECT or PET scanners) to present data on organ function and cellular activity.
Because disease starts with microscopic cell changes, nuclear medicine, and molecular imaging have the potential to recognize illness in an earlier, more treatable stage, often before conventional imaging and other tests can exhibit abnormalities.
To get this unique information without nuclear medicine and molecular imaging tests would need more invasive procedures—such as biopsy or surgery—or would be unattainable. There are different types of Nuclear Medicine which used in various disorders. Let’s see for what type of disorders it will use.
Types Of Nuclear Medicine Scans:
Bone or Joint Scan:
A bone scan is one kind of nuclear medicine test. This suggests that the procedure uses a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a tracer. The tracer is inserted into a vein. It shows probable cancer in areas where the body has absorbed too much or too short tracer.
Images are taken 2 to 3 hours after the injection. Sometimes it is important to take plain radiographs (x-rays) of the bones in order to estimate any abnormal areas further. The radioactive material will leave through the body in the form of urine.
This tests assess the function of the heart and is often done on patients who will be receiving chemotherapy. The patient has a small quantity of blood drawn which is then mixed with the radioisotope. This mixture is then reinjected into the patient and imaging starts about 10 minutes later. The examination takes about one hour.
SPECT Brain Scan:
This is a 2 part examination done to test the brain effects. The first part of the test includes an injection. An IV will be located in the patient’s arm, and the medicine will be administered through it. This takes about 1/2 hour. The sufferer may then leave but will return in about 1 1/2 hours for pictures. The imaging section of the test takes about 45 minutes.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Study:
The reason for this test is to discover out if liquid material moves in a reverse direction from the stomach to the esophagus, also identified as reflux. A small quantity of radioactive material is mixed with a liquid that the patient drinks.
A binder is located on the abdomen to push down on the belly. Pictures are then needed to know what happens over there. At the end of this examination, the binder is removed. The radioactive material will leave in the form of urine. To know more visit Nuclear Medicine Journal which provides many other tests to know.