Benefits of Nuclear Medicine Technology to Children

Nuclear medicine is that area of medical imaging which utilizes small quantities of radioactive materials for diagnosis or treatment of various diseases such as heart diseases, different kinds of cancers as well as some specified abnormalities present in human body.

Pediatric nuclear medicine describes the medical examinations which are done in infants, young children as well as teenagers. Generally, such nuclear imaging procedures help in diagnosis of childhood disorders which are congenital (present since birth) or which develop during the early years of a child.

Normally, the nuclear medicine imaging is conducted on outpatient basis. However, some times the procedure is carried out on hospitalized children also. Moreover, the kind of nuclear medicine examination is usually determined by the manner in which radiotracers are introduced in the body of a child. It may be an intravenous or an oral mode of introduction. But radiotracers can also be inhaled or introduced through the bladder.

The radiotracers may take many seconds or even a few days to travel across the body of child and get accumulated in the area or organ under examination. Accordingly, imaging might be done immediately, after some hours or even a few days later.

Pediatric nuclear medicine is utilized by physicians for evaluation of organ systems like bones, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, heart, lungs and gastrointestinal tract.  Generally, nuclear medicine scans are utilized for diagnosis of gastrointestinal bleeding, jaundice in grown-up children and newborn babies, bone cancer, trauma, infections, urinary blockage in kidneys, tumors as well as backflow of urine from bladder into kidney.

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