Nuclear Medicine involves the use of radiopharmaceuticals to diagnose and treat diseases. Nuclear Medicine Imaging is unique because it provides physicians with information about both structure and biological changes. These studies have several applications in neurology, cardiology, oncology, etc. The Society of Nuclear Medicine estimates 16 million nuclear medicine imaging and therapeutic procedures are performed each year in the US.
Positron-Emission Tomography (PET) is one such imaging modality in nuclear medicine that has delivered the promise of revealing the presence and mechanism of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The use of a microPET scanner for high resolution images of small lab animals helps in biomedical research applications modeling diseases.
|Left Rat image: Whole body projection
through a rat showing fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) distribution. Note
prominent uptake in the heart, brain, and collection of FDG in the
Right Mouse image: Whole body skeletal projection with F- ion in a mouse model of prostate cancer, which metastasizes preferentially to the bone.
|[Images of rat and mouse courtesy: Dr. Arion Chatziioannou, Assistant Professor, UCLA Dept. of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology]|