What Is Nuclear Medicine and How Does It Work?

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty where small amounts of radioactive material are used to diagnose diseases. It is non-invasive, cost-effective and can provide details about the functioning of an organ as well as the viability of the organ structure. It allows for the diagnosis of certain medical conditions and diseases much earlier than other techniques. Nuclear medicine is a great tool for the early detection, treatment and prevention of brain tumors, stroke evaluation, blood cell disorders, breast cancer, heart disease, kidney function and thyroid function.

How Does Nuclear Medicine Work?

Nuclear medicine works by introducing a low-level radioactive chemical called a radiotracer into the body. The radiotracer travels through the area being examined and emits a gamma ray signal that is picked up and read by a gamma camera. “Hot spots” show a larger accumulation of radiotracer which indicates increased activity. “Cold spots” demonstrate reduced activity.

Nuclear medicine is capable of providing information that other imaging techniques may miss. Nuclear medicine is safe because the level of radiation involved in the procedure is typically much lower than the radiation received from a conventional X-ray. Nuclear medicine procedures are painless and have no side effects.

If you are in the business of shielding radioactive material used in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy or gamma radiation inspection units, Medi-RayTM is the best choice for your application. All our products and services meet the highest standards and are compatible with the current metallurgical and radiation shielding requirements. Call us toll-free at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740. You can also email sales@mediray.com.

 

Nuclear Medicine Applications

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is referred to as ‘endoradiology’ because it records radiation emitting from within the body rather than radiation that is generated by an external source, such as an x-ray. Diagnostic nuclear medicine scans are different from radiologic scans because they show the physiological function of the system as opposed to traditional anatomical imaging such as a CT or MRI. In nuclear medicine imaging, radiopharmaceuticals are taken internally, intravenously or orally. External detectors capture and form images from the emitted radiation. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission topography (PET) scans are the two most common imaging modalities in nuclear medicine.

There are some practical concerns in nuclear imaging. Because the risks of low-level radiation are not completely understood, a cautious approach has been universally adopted. All human radiation exposures should be kept at As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).

According to this principle, before a patient is exposed to radiation through a nuclear medicine examination, the benefits of the examination must be identified. The particular circumstances of the patient must be considered. For example, if the patient cannot tolerate a sufficient amount of the procedure to achieve a diagnosis, it would be inappropriate to proceed with injecting the patient with the radioactive tracer. If the benefits from the procedure justify its use, the radiation exposure to the patient should be kept as low as is reasonably practicable. The images produced in nuclear medicine should never be better than required for a confident diagnosis. Giving larger radiation doses can reduce the noise in an image and make it more photographically appealing, but if the diagnostic questions can be answered without that level of detail, it is inappropriate to increase the radiation dosage.

The radiation dose from nuclear medicine imaging varies depending upon the type of study. An effective radiation dose can be lower than, comparable to, or far exceed the general day-to-day environmental background radiation dose. It can also be less than, in the same range, or higher than the radiation dose from a CT scan on the abdomen area or the pelvis. Some nuclear medicine procedures require that patients prepare before the study to obtain the most accurate results. This preparation may include dietary restrictions or the withholding of certain medications.

If you are interested in shielding radioactive material used in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, or gamma radiation inspection units, Medi-RayTM is the best choice for your application. All our products and services meet the highest standards and are compatible with the current metallurgical and radiation shielding requirements. Medi-Ray is located at 150 Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe, New York. Call us toll-free at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740. You can also email sales@mediray.com.

 

Nuclear Medicine/Radiopharmaceuticals Market by Type , Therapeutic & by Application – Global Forecasts to 2020

Over the years, the nuclear medicine/radiopharmaceuticals market has witnessed various advancements. The global nuclear medicine/radiopharmaceuticals market is growing due to the increasing number of radioisotope approvals for different clinical indications. Tc-99m and F-18 are estimated to be the highest contributors to the nuclear medicine/radiopharmaceuticals diagnostics market; whereas, Ra-223, I-131, and Y-90 are estimated to be the highest contributors for the nuclear medicine/radiopharmaceuticals therapeutics market in 2015.

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Medical Isotope Generators Are Essential for Nuclear Medicine Market

In the nuclear medicine market medical isotope generators are used to produce many regular used imaging isotopes. Gallium-68 and Technetium-99 generators are extremely radioactive and need to provide shielding, which is generally composed of either lead or tungsten. Without proper shielding these radioactive generators cannot be shipped or used in their applications.

Which Metals Are The Best Shielding Solutions

Radioactive generators require shielding, which is usually composed of either lead, tungsten or a combination of both metals to provide the best shielding solutions.

Tungsten, Lead or a Combination?

  • Density wise, tungsten has a higher density than lead. Lead has a density of 11.34 g/cc; tungsten has a density of 17.3 g/cc.
  • The cost of tungsten is around 25 times the price of lead because of the material difference and the processing needed.
  • Tungsten is a tougher shield than lead.
  • A hybrid or a combination of both the metals along with some other materials is the best option, as they prove to be more functional and produce cost effective results.

Are you looking for quality shielding of medical isotope generators? Contact Us!

If you are in need of a shielding container or generator shield for nuclear medicine material and are looking for quality shielding of medical isotope generators, call Mediray, Inc at 877-898-3003/914-979-2740 or email:sales@mediray.com.

 

Video: Nuclear Medicine Shielding Accessories for Radiation Safety

Medi-Ray™ has been the largest supplier of nuclear medicine shielding accessories since 1974. Medi-Ray ™ has combined antimonial lead, tungsten, leaded glass, along with a variety of other metals and specialized coatings to create a diverse line of nuclear medicine shielding accessories. Medi-Ray ™ equips effective and specialized dose calibrators with additional shielding to adequately protect the laboratory clinicians. Medi-Ray ™ designs a boiling bath apparatus to fulfill a critical stage in their client’s radiopharmaceutical production process.