Nuclear medicine is a branch of traditional or mainstream health medicine. It deals with the analysis of a disease through medical imaging using radionuclides. Radionuclides are atoms with unstable nuclei. Radionuclides undergo radioactive decay. While doing so they exhibit gamma rays.
Nuclear medicine uses pharmaceutical compounds used in conventional health medicine with radionuclides. This combination is called radio-pharmaceuticals. Radio-pharmaceuticals fall under the umbrella of radio-pharmacology that deals with the study, evolution and application of radio-pharmaceutical health medicine.
Nuclear medicine has now progressed into a specialized branch of health medicine. Gamma cameras were used in the first advent of nuclear medicine as early as 1950s. A gamma camera is also known as an anger camera. The pattern now practiced is the use of radioactive chemicals in the body, to image a part of the body. They are inducted into the body orally or through an intravenous injection. They can also be administered by way of inhalation. Radioactive chemicals are nothing but radio-pharmaceuticals. They are called isotopes. They are prepared in such a way, that they localize at the target location. The tissue or organs absorb or accommodate the radio-pharmaceuticals. This area then exhibits or gives out gamma rays. The gamma rays are captured by a gamma camera. The gamma camera has a special functionality that converts the emitted gamma ray to an electric signal.
A computer processes the electric signal and an image is created. Iodine and technetium are the usually used substances for nuclear medicine. Modern computers aid nuclear medicine just as they aid the advancement of conventional health medicine. Radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians usually perform the imaging and analysis activities.
Nuclear medicine is a type of diagnostic health medicine that plays an excellent role in diagnosis and analysis of complex, surgical situations in the body. In other words, where normal radiology lacks the penetration and perfection of diagnosis, nuclear medicine has its calling. It can also be comparatively less expensive. Nuclear medicine is used extensively in bone scans, heart scans, liver scans, and a lot many more areas.