Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine (also called molecular imaging) includes positron emission computed tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. Nuclear imaging is achieved by injecting small amounts of radioactive material (radiopharmaceuticals) into patients before or during their scan. These can use sugars or chemical traits to bond to specific cells. The radioactive material is taken up by cells that consume the sugars. The radiation emitted from inside the body is detected by photon detectors outside the body. Computers take the data to assemble images of the radiation emissions. Nuclear images may appear fuzzy or ghostly rather than the sharper resolution from MRI and CT.  But, it provides metabolic information at a cellular level, showing if there are defects in the function of the heart, areas of very high metabolic activity associated with cancer cells, or areas of inflammation, data not available from other modalities. These noninvasive imaging exams are used to diagnose cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, bone disorders and other disorders. 

Sleepless

Frequent sleep disruptions may increase amyloid deposits down the road

Daily sleep disruptions could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future, new research suggests. 

June 24, 2024
Hearing aids help slow brain aging in individuals with mild cognitive impairment

Hearing aids help stall brain aging, new imaging study shows

For people with auditory impairment, hearing aid use could slow metabolic decline in regions of the brain associated with cognitive function.

June 10, 2024
stroke brain dementia alzheimer's puzzle mental health

Friends and family noticing differences in loved ones' memory could predict early changes in the brain

Experts recently uncovered strong associations between reports of memory loss from patients' peers/loved ones and the presence of tau tangles on imaging.

May 29, 2024

New Drug Application for PSMA-PET 'cold kit' could expand access to prostate imaging

If approved, the kit could allow for more flexible production of prostate cancer imaging agents.

May 28, 2024
alzheimer's disease dementia brain imaging

Machine learning winnows memory-care cohort to only the most appropriate nuc-med patients

An AI-aided way has emerged to confidently select dementia patients who are likely to benefit from amyloid-PET imaging while appropriately de-selecting patients for whom the costly exam would probably be unhelpful.  

May 23, 2024
PSMA PET CT scan with prostate cancer metastasis GE RSNA23 DF

PSMA PET/CT shows promise for spotting metastatic disease in patients with renal cell carcinoma

Up to 30% of patients have metastatic disease by the time they are initially diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, making accurate staging a critical element of treatment planning. 

May 23, 2024
medical imaging carbon emissions climate change

PET is an energy hog, but relatively rare utilization lessens its carbon footprint. MRI and CT have no such ‘out’

Medical imaging machinery uses a lot of power, and the extent to which it quickens the pace of global warming is becoming clearer.

May 16, 2024
A newly identified PET imaging biomarker could help providers tailor immunotherapy treatments for patients with certain types of cancers.

Researchers identify new PET imaging biomarker capable of predicting immunotherapy success

A newly identified PET imaging biomarker could help providers tailor immunotherapy treatments for patients with certain types of cancers. 

May 14, 2024

Around the web

Automated AI-generated measurements combined with annotated CT images can improve treatment planning and help referring physicians and patients better understand their disease, explained Sarah Jane Rinehart, MD, director of cardiac imaging with Charleston Area Medical Center.

Two advanced algorithms—one for CAC scores and another for segmenting cardiac chamber volumes—outperformed radiologists when assessing low-dose chest CT scans. 

"Gen AI can help tackle repetitive tasks and provide insights into massive datasets, saving valuable time," Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said Tuesday. 

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