Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear MedicineNuclear medicine is a subspecialty of radiology that uses radioactive material (radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose and treat diseases such as cancers, heart disease and other abnormalities. Nuclear imaging procedures use radionuclides (unstable atoms that carry extra energy) to visualize the structure and function of various body systems. A radiotracer is swallowed, injected or inhaled as a gas depending on the type of study the patient is undergoing. The radiotracer then accumulates in the area being examined and the gamma ray energy is detected using a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner that measures the amount of radiation being released. This data is interpreted by a computer to produce images for the radiologist.

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