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These tracers are generally short-lived isotopes linked to chemical compounds which permit specific physiological processes to be scrutinised.
They can be given by injection, inhalation, or orally.
Single photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT) is the current major scanning technology to diagnose and monitor a wide range of medical conditions.
There is widespread awareness of the use of radiation and radioisotopes in medicine, particularly for diagnosis (identification) and therapy (treatment) of various medical conditions.A positron-emitting radionuclide is introduced, usually by injection, and accumulates in the target tissue.As it decays it emits a positron, which promptly combines with a nearby electron resulting in the simultaneous emission of two identifiable gamma rays in opposite directions.This has led to its common use in developed countries where the probability of anyone having such a test is about one in two and rising.Every organ in our bodies acts differently from a chemical point of view.
In developed countries (a quarter of the world population) about one person in 50 uses diagnostic nuclear medicine each year, and the frequency of therapy with radioisotopes is about one-tenth of this.