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Nuclear Medicine is a branch of medical science where radionuclides are used for diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. The discovery of artificial radioactivity and the development of nuclear reactors and particle accelerators have played a significant role in radiotracer technology. Organ/tissue-specific compounds, known as radiopharmaceuticals, are administered to the patient for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Nuclear medicine imaging and non-imaging procedures provide important information about the functional status of the body organs. Radiotracer technology made it possible to define disease in terms of physiology and biochemistry rather than anatomy or histopathology. Radioactive tracers of glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, etc. make it possible to examine the physiological and pathological aspects of the organs of the body, the regeneration and repair when injured, and the response to drugs. Advances in molecular biology have made a dramatic impact on the practice of medicine. This has led to the birth of “Molecular Nuclear Medicine”. Studies with receptor-based radiopharmaceuticals provide insight into the biochemical processes of proteins as they carry out instructions from genetic coding. The advent of hybrid imaging techniques such as single photon emission tomography-computed tomography (SPECT/CT) and positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) permits 3D reconstruction of imaging data with high accuracy and anatomical localization of abnormal lesions in the body. We have three SPECT/CT Scanners and three dedicated Gamma Cameras, two PET/CT systems, and one 11 MeV Cyclotron in the department.
Radionuclides are also used for the therapy of malignant and non-malignant conditions. A lot of progress has taken place over the past few years in therapeutic nuclear medicine. With the use of suitable radiopharmaceuticals, targeted therapy is also possible. The department routinely performs several radionuclide therapies (both outpatient and inpatient) related to thyroid disorders, joint disorders, various cancers, etc.