Common Uses Of Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is a medical strategy you can use both in identification and treatment. Nuclear medicine medical diagnosis techniques include organ imaging, efficient research and in vitro radioimmunoassay. Radioactive tracers are considered internally by orally or intravenous injection, and emit rays during the procedure for flow and metabolism in the body. And exterior detectors (e. g. : gamma cams) can record and form images from rays emitted. Nuclear medicine therapy rely on cells destruct power of the short-range ionizing radiation that emitted by radiopharmaceuticals.

Nuclear treatments imaging technique is easy, hypersensitive, specific, non-invasive, protection, easy to repeat, exact, reliable, and can represent organ function and metabolism. Therefore, it is trusted in professional medical and preliminary research.


Nuclear remedies is a medical technique that combines nuclear technology and medicine for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The analysis of medical isotopes and nuclear radiation can be widely used in specialized medical and basic research, such as cancers, cardiovascular disease and certain other abnormalities in the body.

1. 1 Diagnostic

Nuclear medicine prognosis techniques include organ imaging, useful research and in vitro radioimmunoassay which can help medical professionals to visualize the morphology and function of any organ, muscle or some parts of the body.

Nuclear medicine prognosis is noninvasive, painless and different from diagnostic X-ray that the external radiation need pass through the body to be able to form an image. Radioactive tracers are general considered internally by oral or intravenous injection, and emit radiation during the procedure for flow and metabolism in the torso. And exterior detectors (e. g. : gamma camcorders) can record and form images from rays emitted. Through this way the patient's organs morphology and function can be shown by digital, images, or images by means of curves.

There are many techniques of nuclear remedies can be utilized for disease diagnose.

Scintigraphy: Scintigraphy is a diagnostic approach use radioisotopes within the body to make two-dimensional pictures.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT): Actually SPECT is a gamma camera with a probe around the individual can be an organ for 360 rotation which we called 3D tomographic imaging strategy. After data acquisition, it provides true 3D information for disease diagnose.

Positron emission tomography (Dog or cat): Positron emission tomography (PET) is non-invasive Radionuclide imaging technique. It can uses antielectron to detect the syndication of radioactive isotope in vivo straight.

Medical imaging modalities include radiology (e. g. : X plain film, CT, etc. ), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging and radionuclide imaging and so forth. But our traditional imaging such as radiology and MRI is anatomical imaging which give attention to a particular portion of your body. The radionuclide imaging is useful imaging that concentrate on cells or organ specific. The greater part of disease in its early on course only have some practical changes (including blood flow, metabolism and receptors). The patient's physiological function can be looked into in this manner. Such as for example bone check out, brain scan, lungs scan and so on.

In nuclear remedies procedures, radiopharmaceuticals made up of radionuclides and other chemical substances or pharmaceuticals. After given to the patient, the radiopharmaceutical will localize to particular organs or cellular receptors. Because of the house of radiopharmaceuticals, the disease-process in the body can be imaged. In some diseases nuclear medicine researches, it can identify medical problems at a youthful level than other diagnostic lab tests.

Nuclear Treatments Treatment

Nuclear treatments treatment of disease, based on radionuclides that emitted ܠ-rays in the lesions and create a series of biological ramifications of ionizing radiation. Rays works on skin cells and exchanges some or all their energy to the tissue. Radioactive energy can make skin cells loss their fertility, metabolism disordered, cells senescence or loss of life to achieve the purpose of therapy. The awareness of radionuclide-ray is different between normal skin cells and diseased skin cells. Usually, the greater the cell department activity the more delicate to the rays, and the ability of radionuclides uptake is more robust. As a result of this, while rays eliminate or inhibit lesions the normal tissue will be safe.

The common nuclear remedies treatments include Yttrium-90-ibritumomab tiuxetan and Iodine-131-tositumomab for refractory Lymphoma; 131I-sodium iodide for hyperthyroidism and thyroid malignancy; Samarium-153 or Strontium-89 for palliative bone pain treatment; 131I-MIBG for neuroendocrine tumors. As well as the nuclear medicine section can also use implanted pills of isotopes to treat cancer in a few place.

Common Uses Of Nuclear Medicine

2. 1 nuclear drugs techniques

Most Nuclear Medication techniques can be utilized in medical because of few side-effects, non-invasive, effective and safe medical diagnosis and treatment. And the main thing is the fact that it can show the efficient changes of tissue which always happen in the early amount of disease. Compared with Ultrasound, CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation, nuclear medication test can discover, determine the nature and degree of disease much before.

Nuclear medication in the treatment for a few diseases have unique advantages, such as hyperthyroidism, thyroid malignancy, cancer tumor metastasis to bone, no surgery of malignant pheochromocytoma all can be cured with nuclear drugs. This method is different from general radiotherapy (exterior irradiation of cobalt-60) which is guide the medication straight into the afflicted part. More immediate role, the effect is more noticeable.

Nuclear medicine analysis techniques include organ imaging, useful evaluation and in vitro radioimmunoassay which can help doctors to imagine the morphology and function of any organ, tissues or some parts of the body.

Nuclear drugs imaging scans are performed to




Myocardial perfusion imaging


Sensitivity and specificity of about 90%, higher than the ECG

ischemia myocardial

Non-invasive, non-toxic side effects

Perfusion imaging of coronary small vessels

Good dietary supplement for coronary angiography

Whole body bone scan

Whole body Bone Metastatic Tumor

Whole body bone were clearly visible, make up the weakness of CT, MRI imaging which can't imaging the whole body only 1 time, is the greatest diagnostic approach to entire body bone

Provide early recognition than the X-ray for bone metastases: the sensitivity is preferable to X-ray, detection of disease almost 3 months early.

Lung perfusion / air flow imaging

Pulmonary thromboembolism

Sensitivity and specificity are more advanced than X-ray examination. Because of its non-invasive it is more sensible than pulmonary angiography.

It is the most simple and reliable method for pulmonary embolism analysis.

Renal imaging

Primary kidney disease induced by impaired renal function

Show renal condition, size, location, semi-quantitative analysis of renal function

Evaluation patients renal function by semi-quantitative index, to make up the defect that endogenous creatinine clearance rate can only determine total renal function

Screening of renal dysfunction extra to unilateral renal artery stenosis

Provide the most dependable function quantitative basis for Kidney surger

blood pool imaging

Show all parts of the body's blood vessels vessels

In many inspection methods, it's the prognosis of vascular tumors with higher awareness and specificity. Used in liver, soft cells, placing of activity gastrointestinal bleeding (especially the tiny intestine)


Lymph node tumor, lymph node metastasis and malignant lymphoma

The most very sensitive and reliable method of lymphatic system diseases diagnosis.

The only method for the systemic lymphatic inspections in the imaging exam. It is is easy, easy to operate

Radionuclide in the decay can emits ܠ-rays, the number of it just a few millimeters, and almost all rays can be absorbed by the diseased muscle. This process can damage the diseased cells effectively to attain the healing purposes, and there is no significant result to other muscle and organ.

Radionuclide remedy has been applied in thyroid diseases first and used generally in this field. But nowadays, it could be used for more and more kinds of treatment.

The most common nuclear medicine therapies include

Radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy for hyperthyroidism, practical thyroid tumor metastases, functional autonomy of thyroid adenoma etc.

Radioactive phosphorus for some blood disorders, such as P-32 used for Polycythemia disease and essential thrombocythemia; 188Re used for joint hemorrhage hemophilia.

99Tc-MDP (MDP) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism exophthalmos

131I-MIBG for neuroendocrine tumors (mainly to pheochromocytoma).

Radioactive materials such as Sr-89 for therioma metastases of the bones.

2. 2 Typical applications

2. 2. 1. Radioiodine (I -131) Therapy

Iodine is the main synthetic way to obtain thyroid hormone by thyroid. Because of the same physical and chemical substance properties of radioactive iodine and steadiness iodine, radioactive iodine on thyroid also has a high degree of selective absorption and uptake capacity. Usually the attention of iodine in thyroid up to 25 times plasma concentration, but in the case for lack of iodine the attention may up to 500 times plasma attention. As the speed and volume of the synthesis of thyroid human hormones in patients with hyperthyroidism both increased, the capability to use iodine and the necessity of iodine also increased, it must be relative deficiency. The capability of uptake radioactive iodine by thyroid is very strong and 80%--90% can be uptake after take orally. Radioactive iodine-131 stay longer in the thyroid gland, the effective half-life can up to 3. 5 to 5. 5 days, most of the greater than 5 times. Radioactive iodine -131 emit ‹†-rays (99%) and‹-rays (1%) during decay. Therefore, after uptake of iodine-131, there could be quite a while focused ‹†-ray irradiation, but just a few millimeters. Because of its short range it will not damage the surrounding organs and tissue. After radioiodine (I -131) treatment for many hours later, thyroid will swell because of ‹†-ray irradiation, follicular skin cells may have vacuoles, not normal nuclear, and died a few days later. Through this way, reduces the secretion of the thyroid gland to accomplish a similar effect as subtotal thyroidectomy for hyperthyroidism treatment.

Radioiodine (I -131) therapy can be trusted for diagnostic and therapy in neuro-scientific unclear medicine such as hyperthyroidism, functional thyroid malignancy metastases and so on.

131I treatment of hyperthyroidism: thyroid can uptake a mass of radioiodine (I -131), and hyperthyroidism in thyroid cells would uptake more. In the process of 131I decay it'll emit some ܠ allergens. Because of the brief range (only 2-3mm) there should be no effect on surrounding normal cells, just like incomplete resects thyroid tissues. This method is easy and safe which is the most effective method for the treatment of hyperthyroidism.

131I treatment of efficient thyroid cancer tumor metastases: Well differentiated follicular of thyroid gland and papillary thyroid cancer tissue can uptake 131I. After give a huge range of 131I, the tumor tissues may be damaged with a sufficient amount of ܠ-particle irradiation.

2. 2. 2. Positron emission tomography (PET)

Positron tomography (PET) is one of the very most advanced radionuclide imaging techniques which can also be called PET check. It produces a three-dimensional image for your body or the functional operation in the torso.

The general methodology is use one kind of product, usually must be integrant material during metabolism of natural life. Such as: blood sugar, proteins, nucleic acids, fatty acids, proclaimed with short-lived radionuclides (such as F18, carbon 11, etc. ) and inject into the human body. Throughout the metabolic activities of the product the metabolic activities of life can be mirrored. And we can also achieve the goal of examination. With no-influence of the environmental balance, do some research and early diagnosis of our body pathophysiology and metabolic disorders.

Before PET check out, people need take radioactive tracer isotope (such as fluorinated deoxyglucose, the radioisotope is fluorine -18, commonly found in tumor imaging) with shorter half-life. The decay process will emit positrons. All of the positrons will be substituted into the easily metabolism molecules by chemical substance effect, and then injected it in vivo (usually into blood flow). People need to hold back some time before molecule get into the organism's metabolic system (popular is fluorinated deoxyglucose (FDG), some sort of carbohydrate, usually need waiting for an hour) and focus on our interest organs. Then your themes or patients can maintain the image scanning device.

When the radioisotope go through the positron emission decay (also known as ܠ-decay positron), it'll release a positron. After a few millimeters travel, the positron will come across an electron in the organism and annihilation that will produce a couple of annihilation photons fired in two guidelines back to again. When they achieved the scintillation crystal substances of the detector, the light which produced by this technique can be detected by light-sensitive photomultiplier tube or avalanche photodiode. The technique relies on the diagnosis of concurrent happenings of a pair of photos.

PET not only medical tools but also research tools. There is certainly a large variety of applications in the study of medical imaging in oncology and proliferation of cancer tumor.

PET scanning is non-invasive, however the patient may under contact with radioactive isotopes. But to be honest, the total rays is a extra fat great deal that just seven cents unit Sv usually. Weighed against it, the average annual environmental rays in britain is up to 2. 2 mSv, torso X-ray rays is 0. 02 mSv, CT breasts radiation is 8 mSv, the average annual rays for air staff is 2 to 6 mSv˜environmental rays in Cornwall each year can reach 7. 8 mSv(Source of date: National Rays Protection Connection). Dog or cat generally used in combination with CT in specialized medical applications. Because of the advantages of PET imaging of delicate tissue can coupled with sophisticated CT technology, Dog or cat / CT is the key form of commercial PET. Independent medical PET almost can't be sale on the market.

2. 2. 3. Gamma camer

Gamma camera, used for gamma rays emitting radioisotopes imaging, is within the range of radiation nuclide imaging gadgets. This imaging technique is called scintigraphy.

The major part of the equipment is a structure called "gantry", outfitted with an assembly called as "head". The gantry is handled by a system controller and computer, which is also used for data collection and image control. Chiseled crystal detectors are located in the head, as well as photomultiplier pipes for photon diagnosis.

Gamma radiation assimilated by the crystals in "brain" causes scintillations. Whenever a gamma photon knocks into the crystal, it looses an electron from an iodine atom. If the excited electron involves ground condition level, it release optically detectable photons, which is captured by the Photomultiplier pipes (PMTs) and piled by the managing system. The matters of the photons are used to reconstruct the image.

Spatial Resolution

A method is made to used recognized photons to construction the relationship between them and point where they come from. This method is used to obtain spatial information. Spatial quality is described the little distance between two tips that may be distinguished.

For the best system, the spatial resolution can be 1. 8cm, when the camera is 5cm away. But as the distance from the camera raises, the spatial resolution experiences a strong attenuation. This greatly reduces the image quality in scientific cases. For most cases, as a result of thickness of tissue or organs, the number often exceeds 5cm, triggering the found images to be fuzzy, with blurring.

Imaging techniques based on gamma cameras

Scintigraphy: This is a basic request of gamma camera. In scintigraphy, gamma camera is utilized to capture the radiation that the inner radioisotopes emit, changing them into fluorescent light and then creating 2D images.

SPECT: SPECT ( solitary photon emission computed tomography) is a technology using gamma camera to handle computed tomography. Compared with scintigraphy, SPECT uses fewer detectors (normally one, several). When tomography is carried out, the mind are rotated around the individual at a rate much slower than normal.

If the construction of the gamma camera system can detect simultaneous photons (discovered within an extremely short period), it can be used for Positron emission tomography (Family pet). However, due to low sensitivity of the crystal, gamma camera Family pet is much inferior to regular PET scanners. But, on the other palm, the cost is also reduced considerably.

Benefits and risks

3. 1 Benefits

Nuclear medication test is non-invasive, basic safety, easy to duplicate, correct, reliable and pain-free.

It can identify medical problems at an earlier stage than other diagnostic checks.

Nuclear treatments is low cost but can have more useful information that regimen exploratory surgery which is often used for analysis or appropriate treatment.

3. 2 Risks

Because of the tiny dosages of radiotracer administered, diagnostic nuclear drugs procedures bring about low radiation publicity, suitable for diagnostic examinations. Of course, the radiation risk is suprisingly low compared with the actual benefits.

Nuclear drugs diagnostic types of procedures have been used for more than fifty years, and they do not have any long-term unfavorable effect from such low-dose publicity.

Allergic reactions to radiopharmaceuticals might occur. But it is extremely unusual and always very slight. Nevertheless, you still need to share with the nuclear drugs personnel that any allergies you might have or other issues that may have occurred during nuclear remedies exam before.

Women must inform their medical doctor or radiology technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or if they're breastfeeding their baby.

Injection of the radiotracer may cause small pain and redness which should be resolved swiftly.

limitation of Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine methods must be time-consuming work. It could cost hours to days for the radiotracer to accumulate in some part of the body under study or imaging might use several hours to execute. Although in some instances newer equipment is available and that can shorten the procedure time. You'll be informed as how often so when you will need to come back to the nuclear medicine department for further procedures.

The set ups of your body's image resolution with nuclear drugs maybe much less clear as the other imaging techniques (e. g. : CT, MRI). But in all honesty nuclear drugs scans are much more very sensitive the other techniques. As well as the functional information gained from nuclear medicine exams is often unobtainable by any other imaging techniques.


Nuclear medication may be known as molecular drugs In the foreseeable future. As our knowing of natural techniques in the skin cells of living organism expands, specific probe may be developed to allow characterization, quantification, and visualization of biologic functions at the cellular and subcellular levels. Because of its focus on function and its own usage of imaging real estate agents, nuclear Medication is an excellent profession to adapt to the new self-control of molecular medication.

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