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Hospitals For Nuclear Medicine

About Nuclear Medicine

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.

In the future, nuclear medicine may provide added impetus to the field known as molecular medicine. As understanding of biological processes in the cells of living organisms expands, specific probes can be developed to allow visualization, characterization, and quantification of biologic processes at the cellular and subcellular levels. Nuclear medicine is a possible specialty for adapting to the new discipline of molecular medicine because of its emphasis on function and its utilization of imaging agents that are specific for a particular disease process.

The global market is expected to reach US$ 24 billion in 2030, showing an annual average growth of 11%, mostly driven by the therapeutic radiopharmaceutical market which is expected to increase annually by 30% between 2013 and 2030. The diagnostic radiopharmaceutical market is expected to grow by 5% a year, mainly driven by volume increases. The global nuclear medicine market is fragmented, with more than 60 companies selling radiopharmaceuticals on a regular basis; however, three companies take more than half of the world market share whereas more than 50 companies share 14% of this same world market.
The end result of the nuclear medicine imaging process is a "dataset" comprising one or more images. In multi-image datasets the array of images may represent a time sequence (i.e. cine or movie) often called a "dynamic" dataset, a cardiac gated time sequence, or a spatial sequence where the gamma-camera is moved relative to the patient. SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) is the process by which images acquired from a rotating gamma-camera are reconstructed to produce an image of a "slice" through the patient at a particular position. A collection of parallel slices form a slice-stack, a three-dimensional representation of the distribution of radionuclide in the patient.

The nuclear medicine computer may require millions of lines of source code to provide quantitative analysis packages for each of the specific imaging techniques available in nuclear medicine.[citatio

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