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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is defined as the branch of medicine that uses radioactive isotopes, nuclear radiation, electromagnetic variations of the components of the atomic nucleus and related biophysical techniques for the prevention, diagnosis, therapy and medical research.

Clinical applications of radiopharmaceuticals cover virtually all medical specialties.

Nuclear medicine is closely related to several basic and applied sciences such as physics, chemistry, electronics, cybernetics and pharmacy, and other branches of medicine and physiology, pathophysiology, radiology and other diagnostic techniques for the image.

At present, most of the hospitals and health centers have a Department of Radiology and a Department of nuclear medicine, and radiochemical laboratory methods used for diagnosis and research of a variety of diseases.

Definition of the specialty and scope of nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that uses radioactive isotopes, nuclear radiation, electromagnetic variations of the components of the atomic nucleus and related to the prevention, diagnosis, therapy and medical research biophysical techniques. Also, nuclear medicine includes the study of biological phenomena resulting from the use of radioisotopes, as well as the use of cyclotrons and nuclear reactors in the production of radionuclides for medical use, and applying image reconstruction systems and data processing.

Its scope includes the following:

  • Prevention: In this regard, the nuclear medicine applies the knowledge and skills that are proper hygiene, prophylactic and preventive medicine and radiation protection.
  • Research: Nuclear medicine is developed in basic and applied research using radioactive isotopes and related biophysical techniques.
  • Diagnosis: mainly includes the realization of functional, morphological, dynamic morphological and functional and analytical tests based on biochemical, physiological and pathophysiological principles, aimed at achieving a better knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health or disease.
  • Therapeutics: In addition to the important impact of diagnostic techniques of nuclear medicine for the treatment and management of patients, this specialty includes in its scope, some specific therapeutic indications made by the administration of radiopharmaceuticals to patients (therapy metabolic, endolymphatic, intracavitary, etc.). It also includes the treatment and prevention of biological effects from exposure to ionizing radiation, especially when exposure is due to external radiation or radioactive substances caused by pollution unsealed.
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Last review: October 2, 2015