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A 41-year-old member asked:

what is radiology vs nuclear medicine? what's the difference between radiology and nuclear medicine? or are they both the same? thank you.

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
Radiology : Radiology is a branch of medicine which deals with the medical use of radiation (both ionizing and nonionizing radiation) for diagnosis and treatment of disease. Imaging modalities within radiology include x-ray, fluoroscopy, x-ray angiography, mammography, ct, mri, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. Therefore, most people consider nuclear medicine a branch of radiology. Imaging using x-rays is performed by exposing a patient to an x-ray beam and detecting the x-rays that pass through the patient on the other side. In diagnostic nuclear medicine, the radiation is administered to the patient internally in the form of radiopharmaceuticals and the resulting gamma rays are detected by an imaging device external to the patient. Aside from diagnostic nuclear medicine, nuclear medicine therapy also exists. In nuclear medicine therapy, patients are given radioactive pharmaceuticals that destroy certain tissues (usually cancer cells) with radiation.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Radiation therapy with radioactive pharmaceuticals can also treat hyperthyroidism.
Jan 18, 2013
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Types of radiation: Nuclear medlicine is subspecialty of radiology that utilizes internal radiation and produces functional images of heart, lungs, bones, thyroid, gb, liver, spleen, brain, etc. Xrays come, external source, for display of radiograhic anatomic images to find abnormalities both nuclear imaging and xray imaging involve irradiation.These studies should be used only when necessary to solve clinical problem.
Dr. Tina Stein
Radiology 47 years experience
Different imaging: Radiology is the study of images made by passing x-rays through the body to expose film placed against the body. Nuclear medicine creates images of the body by injecting a radioactive material into a vein. The radiation which is then emitted from the body is used to expose a camera which creates images . Nuclear medicine also uses radiation to treat thyroid overactivity and thyroid cancer.

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Last updated Nov 29, 2020

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