Definitions for nuclear medicine
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word nuclear medicine
the branch of medicine that uses radioactive materials either to image a patient's body or to destroy diseased cells
The branch of medicine that uses radioactive isotopes in the diagnosis and treatment of disease
Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. In nuclear medicine procedures, radionuclides are combined with other elements to form chemical compounds, or else combined with existing pharmaceutical compounds, to form radiopharmaceuticals. These radiopharmaceuticals, once administered to the patient, can localize to specific organs or cellular receptors. This property of radiopharmaceuticals allows nuclear medicine the ability to image the extent of a disease process in the body, based on the cellular function and physiology, rather than relying on physical changes in the tissue anatomy. In some diseases, nuclear medicine studies can identify medical problems at an earlier stage than other diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine, in a sense, is "radiology done inside out", or "endo-radiology", because it records radiation emitting from within the body rather than radiation that is generated by external sources like X-rays. Treatment of diseased tissue, based on metabolism or uptake or binding of a particular ligand, may also be accomplished, similar to other areas of pharmacology. However, the treatment effects of radiopharmaceuticals rely on the tissue-destructive power of short-range ionizing radiation.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A specialty field of radiology concerned with diagnostic, therapeutic, and investigative use of radioactive compounds in a pharmaceutical form.
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"nuclear medicine." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/nuclear medicine>.