Nuclear Medicine is the medical specialty that uses radiopharmaceuticals (radioisotopes) in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of medical conditions. It is based on a detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the utilisation of specialised nuclear radiology equipment.
Radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients in low doses and can be injected, inhaled or swallowed. This makes the body become slightly radioactive so it can be visualised using specialised scanning equipment, a gamma camera and computer. Images and measurements are generated to help understand organ, tissue, and blood function and structure.
Nuclear Medicine helps to diagnose diseases and evaluate anatomical and physiological conditions, which might involve a range of medical disorders, including gastrointestinal, genitourinary, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal disorders. It involves procedures and therapies to help cure, mitigate or control diseases, including cancers, tumours, hyperthyroidism or bone metastases. Nuclear Medicine can be studied as a specialisation of Internal Medicine, or as a subspecialty of Radiology.