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Nuclear medicine is a type of functional medical imaging used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. Compounds containing a tiny amount of radioactivity, called radiopharmaceuticals, are administered by injection, inhalation, or ingestion.
Once in the body, radiopharmaceuticals accumulate in specific organs and diseased areas based on cellular function and physiology, rather than relying on physical changes in anatomy. The radiopharmaceutical emits energy which is detected by special cameras, known as gamma cameras. For some diseases, Nuclear Medicine can identify medical problems at an earlier stage than other diagnostic tests.
Nuclear Medicine also includes fusion imaging. This involves a special camera, SPECT/CT, that allows a functional Nuclear Medicine and CT scan to be obtained with the same camera and be superimposed to highlight the part of the body the radiopharmaceutical is concentrated.
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