|Nuclear medicine offers procedures that are helpful to
a broad span of medical specialties, from pediatrics to cardiology to psychiatry.
There are almost one hundred different Nuclear medicine procedures available.
Millions of nuclear medicine tests are performed also known as scans, examinations or procedures which are safe and painless. In a Nuclear medicine test, the radioactive material is introduced into the body by injection, ingestion or inhalation. Different tracers are used in studying different parts of the body. The amount of tracer used is carefully selected to provide the least amount of radiation exposure to the patient but ensuring an accurate test.
A special camera is used to take pictures of your body. The camera does this by detecting the tracer in the organ, bone or tissue being imaged and then records this information. Children commonly undergo nuclear medicine procedures to evaluate bone pain, injuries, infection or kidney and bladder function. Nuclear procedures are used for the treatment and diagnoses of cardiac stress, bone scans, and to diagnose abnormal functions or blockages of any part of the body.
HOW EXAMINATIONS ARE PERFORMED
When the time to take images reaches, a camera will be placed close to the part of the body which is going to be examined. Then a number of different images will be taken. Those images initially appear in a PC monitor. The gamma camera does not produce radiation, it just signals from the medicine that has been injected into the patient's body. Many images will be acquired but the patient will not be exposed to more radiation than necessary.
During the exam the patient does not feel anything, but will hear a knocking noise that may change in the frequency pattern of knocking . When the exam is finished, the images will be reviewed. The patient will the be informed on the results and when they may leave the MRI center. It might be asked from the patient to wait for a period of time before the images are taken. That period of time differs from examination to examination. More specific, some examinations take place right after the medicine is given though others are performed hours or days later. Total examinations range from about 40-90 minutes.
COMMON NUCLEAR MEDICINE PROCEDURES
Amongst the most common Nuclear procedures performed world wide are the following:
Bone Scintigraphy : From the images you can see the whole skeleton and specific parts of it that need to be examined.
Liver Scintigraphy : This provides information about the anatomy and function of the liver and spleen.
Lung Scintigraphy : Studies of the lungs' perfusion and inspection of their ventilation are done by this