Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging that provides detailed pictures of what is happening inside the body at a molecular and cellular level. Where other diagnostic imaging procedures such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound predominantly offer anatomical pictures, nuclear medicine imaging allows physicians to see how the body is functioning and to measure its chemical and biological processes.
Nuclear medicine imaging offers unique insights into the human body that enable physicians to personalise patient care. In terms of diagnosis, it is able to:
- Provide information that is unattainable with other imaging technologies or that would require more invasive procedures such as biopsy or surgery;
- Identify disease in its earliest stages and determine the exact location of a tumour, often before symptoms occur or abnormalities can be detected with other diagnostic tests.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures, which are noninvasive, safe and painless, are used to diagnose and manage conditions such as cancer, heart disease, brain disorders,such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease, gastrointestinal and heptobiliary disorders, infection/inflammation, lung disorders, bone disorders, kidney disorders, thyroid disorders and neuroendocrine disorders.