Nuclear medicine: what it is and what it is for | Side effects
Computing and new technologies have made and are making incredible advances and especially in the field of medicine. Day by day we can read new medical techniques and advances in terms of diagnosis. Nuclear Medicine becomes part of these advances that although it has been around for a while, it is often a great unknown. Today we are going to unravel what Nuclear Medicine is: what it is and what it is for | Secondary Effects , a new technique that promises to revolutionize the world of diagnosis.
Nuclear medicine: What it is
The discovery of the X-rays was a breakthrough in medicine in general and for the medicine of diagnosis in particular. Being able to see a real image even if only the internal structure of the human body was a revolution.
Today we are in another phase, the use of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging are the vanguard in terms of knowledge of the human body from a molecular point of view and cellular.
Being able to introduce a radiopharmaceutical into the body, inside which is a radioactive isotope and direct it towards the organ that interests us , it seems almost a science fiction story, however nowadays it is used in our hospitals more and more frequently.
Nuclear medicine: What is it for?
Until now, the conventional way of obtaining an image externally of the interior of the organism was by means of X-rays, Ul trasonidos or Magnetic Fields. Through these methods you could project an image of both the bones and some soft tissues.
But now technology, instead of using an external source to the organism, allows us to introduce it inside the organism. Nuclear medicine serves to produce images of the particular organ function as well as its molecular activity , providing very useful information for diagnosis and later treatment.
This is a very effective diagnostic test since many of the diseases begin with minimal changes at the cellular level that are imperceptible until they get bigger and They can be identified. With nuclear medicine it is possible to detect the slightest anomaly long before conventional techniques and without having to resort to more invasive techniques such as biopsies.
Nuclear medicine: When it is used
Nuclear medicine is a new technique that is being used in more and more fields of medicine, both in research as in the pharmacological branch. At present we have studies and diagnosis for almost all organs and systems of the body human.Despite its name, radiopharmaceutical is responsible for reaching the organ or tumor both to study it and to treat it and eliminate it if possible.
Radiopharmaceuticals emit small radiations, these are the ones that capture the gamma cameras that are arranged above and below the stretcher where the patient is placed. By means of movements of the gamma cameras that collect the radiation and transform it into electrical signals that will then be transformed into images through a computer operation.
These radiopharmaceuticals are usually injected into the bloodstream but can also be ingested or inhaled. It does not need the patient of hospital admission since it is done in an ambulatory way.
The removal of these radiopharmaceuticals will occur at throughout the day, for what and as we will see later, it does not entail too much risk neither for the patient nor for the companions.
Nuclear medicine is being widely used in the treatment against different types of cancer, especially Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, achieving great results such as diminishing the osseous metastasis or ending the pain it causes.
Nuclear Medicine: Secondary Effects
Nuclear medicine is considered a non-invasive and safe technique. It does some years there was a certain alert to the possibility of contamination because of the radiation that is introduced into the body of the patient and even if it was harmful for the people who could accompany them.
Do not be afraid, the amount of radiation that is injected into the patient is so small that it is practically irrelevant. Having no risk to health and obtaining such optimistic results have made nuclear medicine and radio image one of the techniques most requested by physicians in the treatment of certain diseases.
Regarding the dose to be applied to each patient, this will vary in function of certain factors such as weight or the organ to study. Therefore side effects or risks can be:
- Very low radiation risk
- With the administration of low amounts of radiation and after an experience of more than 50 years, no negative effects have been described in the long term caused by the treatment or diagnosis by nuclear medicine.
- In some cases they have been observed to radioactive isotopes or radiopharmaceuticals, but of a mild nature.
- You may notice mild pain after the injection that introduces the isotope, although it is a brief annoyance that will disappear at the moment.
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