Nuclear medicine (or nuclear radiology) is unique within the field of medical imaging. While most images created in radiology are direct depictions of anatomy and structure, nuclear medicine studies are depictions of physiology and function.  The studies are specifically designed to take advantage of changes in function that occur with pathologic processes.  Functional changes often become apparent earlier than derangement of macroscopic anatomy, making nuclear imaging highly sensitive.

This introduction serves to explain the basis for, and techniques utilized to create nuclear medicine imaging studies. The topic list on the right will guide you to an understanding of nuclear imaging.  The role that nuclear medicine plays in the rapidly developing field of personalized medicine will also be touched upon.






1. The tracer principle

2. Isotopes and emissions

3. Scanners and techniques

4. Terminology

5. Scan types and indications