Nuclear radiology is a form of molecular imaging that uses radionuclides to detect and treat disease. Radionuclides are compounds that have a small chemical attached to a radioactive molecule. Depending on the chemical, the compound will go to different tissues in your body such as the liver, bones, kidneys, thyroid, etc. The chemical is taken up by injured or diseased tissue in different amounts than in surrounding healthy tissue.
When used for diagnostic imaging, the radioactive molecule attached to the chemical has low energy, and is used to detect the diseased or abnormal tissue. When used for treatment, the radioactive molecule has high energy, and kills the diseased tissue.
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is pleased to present a new video on the value of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. The video below highlights several specific examples—with corresponding evidence—of how nuclear medicine and molecular imaging are helping patients with cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.