By Elvir Karic
What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive, except for injections, and they are usually painless medical tests that will allow physicians to treat and diagnose the medical condition. The radioactive imaging procedures use radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers. Depending on the type of nuclear exam, the radiotracer is injected, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. Nuclear medicine can also be offered as therapy which involves radioactive iodine (I-131) being used in small quantities to treat cancer and medical conditions which affect the thyroid-gland.
Common uses of Nuclear medicine
Nuclear medicine is used to treat and assess the heart, lungs, bones, and other parts of the body. The procedure visualizes the heart blood flow and it's function. It can also detect damage to the heart, and transplant rejection. For the lungs nuclear medicine scans the lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems. It can also detect lung transplant rejection(s). Nuclear medicine is able to evaluate bones for fractures, infections, and arthritis as well as evaluate bone tumors. For the brain nuclear medicine can do quite an amount. It is able to investigate abnormalities in the brain like seizures, memory loss, and blow flow. Detecting early onset of neurological disorders like Alzheimer disease is another procedure nuclear medicine can do. Nuclear medicine is able to evaluate brain tumors reoccurring, and surgical or radiation planning or localizing for biopsies. For the other parts of bodies nuclear medicine can identify inflammation or abnormal functions of the gallbladder. It can also locate the presence of infections, and it can evaluate fevers of unknown presence, stomach emptying, as well as hypeparathyroidism.
For children and adults:
For both children and adults nuclear medicine is used for Cancer and Renal. For Cancer it evaluates the stage of cancer, plan treatment, and evaluate the response nuclear radiation would have on cancer. Nuclear medicine also detects the recurrence of cancer, and if any rare tumors of the pancreas and adrenal glands. Nuclear medicine is used for Renal, known as kidney failure. It is able to analyze native and transplant kidney function, and evaluate hypertension related to the kidney arteries.
For children, nuclear medicine does not do as much as it can for children as it does for adults. It is able to investigate abnormalities in the esophagus, evaluate the openness of tear ducts, ventricular shunts in the brain , and assess congenital heart disease for shunts and pulmonary blood flow.
Nuclear medicine can do a lot for both adults and children even though it may not seem like it to everyone. Nuclear medicine can treat, evaluate, and identify a various amount of diseases and disorders with new and advanced technology. Many people have suffered diseases and disorders in the past, but today physicians can help those people in need.
How does the procedure occur?
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