The advantages of a Nuclear Medicine examination over other techniques concerning the information it provides you on your health, and on the various treatment methods available.
by Prof. Serge Goldman, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Functional images can give your doctors valuable information regarding your health. These images detect any change in the way a particular organ is functioning. Since organs generally change their capacity to ensure functions before they present morphological changes, Nuclear Medicine examinations can in most cases identify health problems earlier than the other imaging examination methods. As an example, reduction in the blood supply to the heart will be identified with a Nuclear Medicine examination before a patient presents symptoms such a chest pain during effort. These functional images of the cardiac blood supply are directly related to the risks of having a myocardial infarct, whatever the multiple changes of the coronary arteries a morphological examination of these vessels might reveal. One of the main advantages of Nuclear Medicine imaging is that in most cases the whole body is analysed. This is particularly advantageous when lesions are likely to occur in various places, such as in the case of cancer dissemination or when the presence of an infectious lesion is suspected without any indication on where this lesion might be. The functional information provided by nuclear examinations is advantageously combined with morphological information from other imaging modalities. This combination of information, accessible with most modern "hybrid" machines that offer dual imaging capacities, represents the most powerful mean of disease detection and follow-up.