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Computed Tomography And Radionuclide Imaging Essay

1174 words - 5 pages

Computed tomography (CT) and Radionuclide imaging (RNI) are both a form of diagnostic imaging. Since they have been first introduced in medical imaging they both suffered a huge development over the years in terms of image acquisition and also patient radiation protection. The following essay it is going to focus on just a few important things that make CT and RNI similar and different in the same time. However this subject can be discussed in much depth, the focus is going to be on the similarities and differences of the physics imaging methods and also a small awareness of biological effects and radiation protection.
As a starting point in CT diagnostic imaging the form of radiation used to provide an image are x-rays photons , this can also be called an external radiation dose which detect a pathological condition of an organ or tissue and therefore it is more organ specific. However the physics process can be described as the radiation passes through the body it is received by a detector and then integrated by a computer to obtain a cross-sectional image (axial). In this case the ability of a CT scanner is to create only axial two dimensional images using a mathematical algorithm for image reconstruction. In contrast in RNI the main property for producing a diagnostic image involves the administration of small amounts of radiotracers or usually called radiopharmaceutical drugs to the patient by injection or oral. Radio meaning the emitted of gamma rays and pharmaceutical represents the compound to which a nuclide is bounded or attached. Unlike CT has the ability to give information about the physiological function of a body system. The radiopharmaceutical often referred to as a nuclide has the ability to emit gamma rays within the body structure for the purpose of imaging so therefore the isotopes have the ability to concentrate where there is an increased metabolic activity. However an important thing that cannot be forgotten in this case is that gamma–rays are emitted from a radioactive source in RNI imaging unlike in CT imaging the x-rays are produced in a vacuum tube. Both gamma rays and x-rays are a form of ionizing radiation, they are a form of electromagnetic radiation, both are pulses of energy that have the capacity to move through space at speed of light. On the other hand gamma rays have high frequency and short wavelength than x-rays. Similar to x-rays photons used in CT, gamma rays have the same photoelectric effect in terms of gamma rays attenuated by the patient body and also produce Compton scatter. Therefore in both cases the Inverse square law needs to be applied to reduce radiation dose to staff and public. Moving on, the most used nuclide in RNI is Technetium-99 (Tc-99m) which has an equivalent energy of 140 Kilo electron volts (keV), it is the preferred nuclide because has a half-life of 6 hours which means that 93.7 % of the nuclide decays in 24 hours therefore it is easily cleared from the patient body...

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