Nuclear Imaging – Dominant Approach for discovery, diagnosis and therapy in today’s biological and medical world


Over a hundred years ago, X-rays were discovered which had the whole plethora of physicians and scientists looking up at the sky and thanking the gods for enabling them to look into the living body. And today’s medicine is going through another transformation in the form of nuclear imaging which is on its leading edge probing deep into the inner workings of our body. The differences being, the ability of this technique to provide visualization of the body’s functions at a cellular and molecular level. This has proved to be critically important in the field of medicine — in early diagnosis, assessment of new drugs, developing and improving effective therapy as well as personalized care.

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In conventional diagnostic imaging, pictures of bone and tissues are produced for which X-rays or magnetic field are used whereas in Nuclear Imaging, an energy source is incorporated in the body to know a tissue or an organ’s functioning through an external device like a gamma camera, SPECT or PET scanners. This information can be obtained by methods other than nuclear imaging, but they would be much more invasive – like biopsy or surgery.

Nuclear imaging is generally utilized for cardiovascular and oncology applications. This technology allows doctors to formulate the appropriate alignment of radiation beams for the treatment of disease with sound accuracy. Due to these, Nuclear Imaging Equipment Market worth was $10.03 billion in 2016 and estimated to be growing at a CAGR of 8.87%, to reach $15.34 billion by 2021. The Nuclear Imaging technology has helped in gaining a better understanding of the molecular pathways and mechanics of the disease thus increasing the Nuclear Imaging Market Global Industry size.

Excellent means of treatment can be provided through Nuclear Imaging due to cell targeting ability. One of the most successful treatments for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism is an application of Nuclear Imaging – Radioactive iodine (I-131) ablation. Targeted Radionuclide therapy (TRT) is now being used to treat different forms of cancer as well as to provide pain relief to bone cancer patients. An effective form of TRT is the treatment of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma with radioimmunotherapeutics like Zevalin.

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ALAR(As low as possible) policy is used to carefully select the amount of radiotracer required for Nuclear Imaging. The procedures are safe and non-invasive while using about the same amount of radiation that a normal person receives within a year of their life thus reducing the risk factor considerably. The dosage is determined by the patient’s body weight, the reason for the study and the body part being imaged.

The combination of more than one imaging technique (which is called coregistration, hybrid imaging or fusion imaging) allows information form two different types of scans to be viewed in a single set of images. Some of the standard diagnostic tools which provide details of both anatomy and function of organs and tissues are PET/CT and SPECT/CT scans which are a combination of PET, SPECT and CT scans. The newer forms of hybrid imaging that are in development are PET/MR, PET/ultrasound and some other optical technologies fused with the conventional imaging techniques.

Everyday, Global Nuclear Imaging Market growth can be seen as newer imaging technologies are emerging to reduce radiation exposure while maintaining the diagnostic accuracy of the test. These procedures, many of which are in clinical trials, further promise to continue to deliver improvements to patient care. In this way, the Global Nuclear Imaging Market has devised procedures that are being performed for more than 50 years on adults and for more than 40 years on infants and children of all ages without any known adverse effects.

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