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How does radiopharmaceuticals work in nuclear medicine?

Radiopharmaceuticals work by emitting radiation that can be detected by imaging equipment in nuclear medicine.

Radiopharmaceuticals are drugs that contain a radioactive substance, known as a radionuclide. These drugs are administered to patients, either orally or intravenously, and the radionuclide travels to the target organ or tissue. Once there, the radionuclide emits radiation, which can be detected by imaging equipment such as gamma cameras or PET scanners.

The type of radiation emitted by the radionuclide depends on its properties, such as its half-life and energy level. Gamma radiation, for example, is emitted by radionuclides with longer half-lives, while positron emission is produced by radionuclides with shorter half-lives. The imaging equipment detects this radiation and produces images of the target organ or tissue, allowing doctors to diagnose and monitor diseases.

Radiopharmaceuticals are used in a variety of medical procedures, such as bone scans, cardiac stress tests, and cancer imaging. They are also used in targeted therapy, where the radiation emitted by the radionuclide is used to destroy cancer cells.

Overall, radiopharmaceuticals play a crucial role in nuclear medicine by allowing doctors to visualise and treat diseases using radiation.

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