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Nuclear Medicine - Essay Example

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The reporter underlines that gamma radiations have been long been used in nuclear medicine. Moreover, the procedure has a technical aspect and the scientific aspect in which it becomes useful. The technical aspect involves an injection of a radioactive tracer into the body…
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Nuclear Medicine
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Radiation exploited in most nuclear medicine procedures
Gamma radiations have been long been used in nuclear medicine. The use has been both therapeutic and diagnostic. The procedure has a technical aspect and the scientific aspect in which it become useful. The technical aspect involves injection of a radioactive tracer inside the body and then it is directed to a place where there is an abnormality or pathology. Once the tracer get to the place of pathology, the technical part will have achieved its goal (Hada, 2014).Most of the radioactive tracers are introduced by injection while other through inhalations or even orally. Once, there, they will emit radiations that then the camera gamma camera will capture and display the type of pathology without any surgical procedure. Recently, there has been development where a more sophisticated radiation has been put into use- position emission tomography-, which on technical and scientific aspect works as gamma ray radiation. Only that it has a two-ray radiation detected making the area examined clearer (Hada, 2014).
Patient preparation
Preparation of patient mostly is dependent to the type of procedure that will be performed. Allergy must be checked for radioactive tracer material used. Some of the procedures such as a bone scan do not need intensive patient preparation, but some require. A good example is thyroid body scan. When a patient is being prepared for thyroid test he or she should be instructed to speak with the technologist directly before the procedure is undertaken. The patient should be instructed to stop all thyroid medication since they may be falsely detected as pathology with the machine. Before stopping the medication, they should seek clarification from the doctor. The patients sometimes are instructed to fast for two hours for the effectiveness of the nuclear medicine procedure (Chia-Ho, 2014).
Advantages and limitations of nuclear medicine
Nuclear medicine has many advantages. One is the advantage painless and less not invasive. It can help to diagnose, treat even predict the outcome for a wide range of condition without causing a lot of trauma to the patient. It helps detecting pathology within body at early time that in turn can help control the condition ahead of time. Nuclear medicine can also help to check how well the cancers are responding to therapy.
Nuclear medicines also have a share of disadvantages and limitation. It involves exposure to ionizing radiation that can cause mutation if they are in huge doses. Some of the radioactive tracer materials injected into bodies have an allergic reaction that can be very detrimental. Hence, it is necessary to test for the presence of allergy with radioactive tracer material before nuclear medicine procedure is commenced. A time sedation may be needed because nuclear medicine procedure a time make patient feels claustrophobic (Mititelu, 2014)
Ailment diagnosed and treated via nuclear medicine procedures
Most of the ailments that are diagnosed and treated with nuclear medicine are internal. This ailment will otherwise require a surgical procedure to be done for the diagnosis or therapeutic procedure to be done. With nuclear medicine, no invasive procedure is needed instead it’s a radioactive tracer material that is needed (Mititelu, 2014).The ailments include cancers even at their developmental stage, cardiac diseases such as myocardial infarction and cerebral vascular accident (stroke)
Applications of nuclear medicine relating to Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans
PET mostly applied in oncology, with fluorine-18 as the tracer, because it is accurate and non-invasive method of detecting cancers. Also used in cardiac and brain imaging. Combination PET with computed tomography (CT) scans gives co-registration of the two images (PETCT), resulting to 30% better diagnosis than gamma camera alone.
Hada, M. S., Chakravarty, A., & Mukherjee, P. (2014). Activity based costing of diagnostic procedures at a nuclear medicine center of a tertiary care hospital. Indian Journal Of Nuclear Medicine, 29(4), 241-245. doi:10.4103/0972-3919.142627
Mititelu, R. (2014). Modern radiopharmaceutical solutions and up-to-date technologies, at the 3rd Balkan Congress of Nuclear Medicine. European Journal Of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging, 41(9), 1820-1823. doi:10.1007/s00259-014-2828
Chia-Ho, S., Cheng-Chang, L., Tou-Rong, C., Jui-Hung, W., Pan-Fu, K., Shang-Lung, D., & Ming-Jen, C. (2014). Monitoring of radiation dose rates around a clinical nuclear medicine site. Radiation Physics & Chemistry, 104: 124-128. doi:10.1016/j.radphyschem.2013.12.034 Read More
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