Archive for the ‘Nuclear Medicine’ Category

Nuclear Medicine Terms You Might Want To Know

Nuclear Medicine is a specialized area of the Radiologic Technology Field; in order to better grasp the value of this area, there are terms that must be fully understood first and they are listed below:

Bone scans is use to detect diseases of the bone at the earliest possible time. It is often more sensitive than X-rays in diagnosing infections, tumors, and fractures.

Calibration is the act of checking or adjusting (by comparison with a standard) the accuracy of a measuring instrument.

Dose calibrator (radioisotope calibrator) is a device used in radiological research that measures the total energy of a radionuclide in units of Curies (Ci) or millicuries (mCi). It consists of a hollow, lead shielded cylinder, in which samples of radionuclides are lowered for measurement. It can be programmed for specific isotopes, or adjusted by dial for isotopes not in the program. It is commonly used to obtain quick measures of the total radioactivity of isotopes prior to administration to patients and animals, or further processing in chemical synthesis.

Dosimeter is a measuring instrument for measuring doses of ionizing radiation (X-rays or radioactivity)

Gamma Camera or Camera is an apparatus used for visualization and acquisition of images and produces no radiation. The system is connected to a computer for archiving and image manipulation.

Ionization chamber is a chamber for detecting ionization of the enclosed gas, used for determining the intensity of ionizing radiation.

Myocardial Perfusion Scintigraphy is a scan that uses radioactive substances (radionuclides), in the form of thallium and technicium, which can be used to produce pictures of a patient’s heart.

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medicine pertaining to diagnostic, therapeutic and investigative use of radioactive chemical elements.

Probe is a small device for measuring and testing.

Radioactive: Relating to or making use of radioactive substances or the radiation they emit.

Radioimmunoassay is a procedure that measures minute amounts of a substance, such as a hormone or drug, by quantitating the binding, or the inhibition of binding, of a radiolabeled substance to an antibody.

Radioisotope: A particular form of chemical element that is radioactive.

Radionuclide: Radioactive nuclide.

RadioPharmaceutical is a radioactive substance usually Technetium(Tc99m), which is administered in its simplest form or in other combined or complex states. Some other radioactive substances which may be used are: Thallium, Gallium, Iodine131, Iodine123.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Cyclotron

  • Built by Lawrence in 1929
  • Accelerates positive particles rather than the electrons
  • Uses positively charged particles such as proton, neutron, alphas, deuterons, short- lived radioisotopes
  • Particles are accelerated in a circular chamber called dees
  • The particles are accelerated by electric fields between the dees until the particle acquires the desired energy
  • Powerful magnetic filed are employed to confine the particle to a circular path
  • Protons are not commonly used for radiation therapy
  • In some centers, deuterons produced by cyclotron are brought out and allowed to strike targets of beryllium leading to the production of neutrons, such neutrons can be used for radiation therapy
  • Neutron beam is not universally available for therapy but have been tried clinically by various group in the US
  • Short- lived isotopes are used in radiopharmaceuticals research

Nuclear Medicine Equipments Used to Take Images

Nuclear Medicine Image Acquisition

1. Stationary Gamma Camera
- Large cameras that are positioned as close to the body as possible.
- Patient may sit, stand or lie down, depending on the scan

2. SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography)/Rotating Gamma Cameras
- moves while the scan takes place

3. PET (positron emission tomography) Scanner
- Patient lie on a table that slides into a tube like opening

4. Probes
- Wand like metal tubes that take readings as they are passed over the body
- does not enter the body and rarely touches the skin

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