An Introduction to Nuclear Medicine

Janelle M. Wheat, Geoffrey M. Currie, Rob DAVIDSON, H Kiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nuclear medicine is the injection, ingestion or inhalation of a radiopharmaceutical for the purpose of diagnosis or therapy. It shares imaging synergies with both planar/general x‐ray and to computed tomography (CT) in its acquisition methods. Nonetheless, the prime difference is that the focus of planar x‐ray and CT is on morphology or anatomy while nuclear medicine has a focus on the evaluation of function or physiology. The history of nuclear medicine follows similar timelines to that of x‐ray. Nuclear medicine, however, had a slower recognition and clinical permeation of its imaging/treatment methods and strengths as well as a delayed recognition of the dangers of these forms of ionising radiation. Both planar x‐ray and planar nuclear medicine, and x‐ray CT and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) have emerged with greater integration in order provide improved diagnostic utility of each modality; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The strengths of x‐ray imaging modalities and the treatment approaches used in radiation therapy are well understood by diagnostic radiographers and radiation therapists. An understanding of the technical and clinical aspects of nuclear medicine and its imaging and treatments strengths can provide improved service provision and patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalThe Radiographer
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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