Important Things to Know About Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive substances to evaluate organs, bones, or tissues. Unlike X-rays, where external radiation is used, in nuclear medicine the patient takes radiopharmaceuticals internally. There are several types of nuclear medicine diagnostic techniques.
Scintigraphy creates 2D images to evaluate areas such as bone, myocardial perfusion, and parathyroid. SPECT is a 3D technique that helps doctors evaluate functional processes of the body. Other techniques superimpose nuclear medicine scans onto CT images, for example.
Nuclear medicine shows the physiological function of the system being evaluated, rather than traditional anatomical images.