A Brief Understanding of the Nuclear Medicine Equipment

Nuclear medicine is that branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases that includes cancers, heart diseases, and many other kinds of abnormalities in the body. The nuclear medicine also known as the radionuclide imaging procedures are generally non-invasive and apart from the intravenous injections are usually painless tests that assist the physicians in diagnosing the medical conditions.

In general the majority of the nuclear medicine procedures are performed using the gamma camera that is encased in the metal that has the capability to detect radiation from different angles and take pictures. In majority of the cases the gamma cameras are dual headed and one of the two cameras is above the table whereas the other camera is below the table. Some cameras can rotate around the body and produce more detailed images. Referred to, as The Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT).

Major nuclear medicine equipment is the positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. This is a large machine that has a round, doughnut shaped hole in the middle that is similar to a CT or MRI unit. Within this machine there is a multiple ring of detectors that record the emission of the energy from the radiotracer into the patient’s body. A computer is used to create the images from the data that is obtained from the camera or the scanner. A probe is a small hand held device that can detect the amount of radiotracer in the small area of the body.

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