Doctor insights on:
How Do Radioisotopes Help People
Several ways: Radioisotopes are used in diagnostic scanning. They are used as the radioactive basis for radiotherapy for tumors and other conditions. They can be injected into the body for therapeutic effect such as radio-iodine for treating thyroid disease or seed implants for prostate cancer. ...Read more
Visibility: Radioisotopes make molecules that are not typically visible on x-rays to show up. In the example of pet, a common molecule used is a radioisotope of glucose (sugar). Tissues that are growing rapidly would accumulate the sugar more readily, and the positrons emitted from them would show up on an x-ray. Spect is similar, but takes more images from different angles to make 3d images. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Functional imaging: Nuclear medicine is use of internal ionizing radiation in form of radioisotopes by intravenous injection, ingestion, catheterization of bladder or inhalation. Functional imaging is performed of skeleton, heart, brain, thyroid, liver, spleen kidneys, bladder, lymph system, gallbladder, etc. Gamma rays instead of xrays. Radiography and MRI are anatomic imaging. ...Read more
For energy.: Many years ago, there were some pacemakers that had "nuclear batteries" - they were powered from the plutonium-238 radioisotope. These batteries lasted many times longer than even the modern batteries do. However, lithium-powered batteries are now the norm - I am not aware of any manufacturers selling a nuclear battery pacemaker in many years. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmc072143. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Great treatment: Hi. I assume you're talking about radioactive iodine (specifically 131-I) for hyperthyroidism and not thyroid cancer. 131-Iodine is my preferred treatment for Graves' disease. It's painless, easy, and resolves the issue relatively quickly. It makes you hypothyroid, which is very easy to treat and doesn't require a specialist (although many of my patients keep coming to me for long term follow up). ...Read more
Nuclear medicine/PET: Radiotracer examples include 18F-FDG and 18F-DOPA. Because of their increased metabolic demand, brain tumors will "light up" with the radiotracer on PET scans in comparison to non-cancerous areas of the brain. The role of nuclear medicine in diagnosing brain tumors is still in the early stages. MRI is still most often used. Reference: http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/48/9/1468.full.pdf ...Read more
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