An Introduction to nuclear medicine

Janelle M. Wheat, Geoffrey M. Currie, R. Davidson, Hosen Kiat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Nuclear medicine is the injection, ingestion or inhalation of a radiopharmaceutical for the purpose of diagnosis or therapy. It shares imaging synergies with both planar / general x-ray and to computed tomography (CT) in its acquisition methods. Nonetheless, the prime diff erence is that the focus of planar x-ray and CT is on morphology or anatomy while nuclear medicine has a focus on the evaluation of function or physiology. Th e history of nuclear medicine follows similar timelines to that of x-ray. Nuclear medicine, however, had a slower recognition and clinical permeation of its imaging / treatment methods and strengths as well as a delayed recognition of the dangers of these forms of ionising radiation. Both planar x-ray and planar nuclear medicine, and x-ray CT and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) have emerged with greater integration in order provide improved diagnostic utility of each modality; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Th e strengths of x-ray imaging modalities and the treatment approaches used in radiation therapy are well understood by diagnostic radiographers and radiation therapists. An understanding of the technical and clinical aspects of nuclear medicine and its imaging and treatments strengths can provide improved service provision and patient care.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-45
    Number of pages8
    JournalThe Radiographer
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • history
    • imaging principles
    • nuclear medicine
    • radionuclides


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