a. Nuclear medicine, yet another modality, involves using radioactive materials,
such as technetium for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Liver scans, bone scans,
and brain scans are just a few of the procedures involving the use of nuclear medicine.
Low-level radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive isotopes) are introduced into the patient's
body by intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, or oral methods.
b. Depending upon the pharmaceutical selected, the purpose of this procedure
is to examine the manner in which the drug is absorbed by a specific organ.
Sometimes, the purpose of the procedure is to identify the structure and function of the
organ. Scanning instruments that function as the sensor or receptor of the radiation,
are placed next to or over the patient. The scanning instruments detect the radiation
produced by the radioactive isotopes concentrated in the organ. An image is then
stored in computer memory, which can be recorded on radiographic film.
DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL SONOGRAPY (ULTRASOUND)
Diagnostic medical sonography, yet another modality in the battery of techniques
available to the radiology department, is better known as ultrasound. This modality is a
useful means of diagnosing tumors and malfunctions of organs, as well as other
disease processes, such as cirrhosis of the liver and arteriosclerosis. Diagnostic
medical sonography involves the use of high frequency sound waves. An image is
formed of the anatomical structure of clinical interest. Another popular use of
ultrasound is in obstetrics, in determining the size and position of the unborn fetus.
Computerized tomography involves diagnosing disease processes through the
use of a narrow moving beam. The beam of x-radiation scans a thin cross-section of
the body. An infinite number of body planes can be reconstructed using the receptors
and the computer storage and processing feature using this technique. See figure 2-1.