Nuclear medicine, with its simplest definition, is the use of radioactive substance in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The imaging process is carried out with the devices called gamma cameras or PET-CT according to the type of the radiation emitted by the radioactive substance used. As a result of this, the functions of many organs and systems are assessed.
In the nuclear medicine department of our hospital, functional imaging is performed in the diseases related to the almost every organ system (such as thyroid, bone, heart, kidney, and etc.). Attempts made to diagnose diseases are the diagnostic procedures for imaging, and in these applications, imaging is usually performed by giving very small doses of radioactive substances. Radioactive substance is usually administered with intravenous injection, but it also can be administered either orally or with inhalation according to the organ to be examined. After a certain waiting time, the filming performed with the devices turns the radiation in patients into the image. The images are recorded on a computer and also film to make a detailed analysis with the gamma cameras, which collects the gamma photons resulting from the radioactive substance and transfers them to the computer systems as images. After imaging, radioactive substance in the body becomes harmless by emitting invisible rays after a certain time, and it is removed from the body. This process varies depending on the radioactive substance applied and dose. In scintigraphic examinations, dose of radiation taken by the patient, contrary to popular belief, is in a similar or lower level than most other radiological examinations.
Many tests as follows can be performed:
*Endocrine system (thyroid, parathyroid, and etc.)
*Cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessel diseases)
*Skeletal system diseases
*Genitourinary system (kidneys transplanted kidney, and etc.)
*Respiratory system diseases
*Digestive system and etc.
PET/BT(POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY)
PET/BT is a comprehensive imaging modality giving both metabolic and morphological information about all organs of the body. PET/BT can help to make diagnosis benefiting from the increased glucose metabolism, which is a feature of the cancerous cell, without a biopsy. In the pre-PET/BT periods lesions in the body, whether or not they are caused by cancer, can only be determined with biopsy, but now, with PET/BT, it can be determined that these lesions have cancer or not. In PET/BT imaging, information relating to the image of the body of patient is obtained through computer systems; thus, tumors with only diameter of 5 mm can even be monitored. In PET/BT imaging modality, by giving a very low dose of radioactive substances into the human body intravenously, the three-dimensional topographic images of the body is obtained after the appropriate waiting period. Depending on retention of the radioactive substance given to the cancer tissue, at higher rates, cancer focus in the body can be detected. Thus, PET/BT enables the patient's treatment to be organized in the best way. PET/BT is used in the diagnosis follow-up of the disease effectively in many tumor types, especially lung and lymph node cancers as well as head and neck, thyroid, breast, stomach, small and large intestines, gynecological, testis, skin, brain, kidney, liver and biliary tract and pancreas. In addition, PET/BT imaging modality can also be used for determining the epileptic focus in the brain of the refractory epilepsy patients scheduled for surgery and the presence of living tissue in the heart muscle after myocard infarctus (heart attack).
The indications for use of the Oncologic PET / CT imaging are listed below:
• Diagnosis (distinguishing the benign / malignant tumors),
• Staging in patients with a diagnosis of cancer (determining the prevalence of the disease),
• Assessment of the efficacy of the treatment on the cancer patients,
• Determination of the cancer recurrence in the follow-up stage after treatment,
• Examination of the tumors that its primary focus cannot be determined.
RADIOIODINE (ATOM) TREATMENT
Radioiodine is the radioactive form of the iodine and emits radiation. It is colloquially known as atom. Radioiodine, which is taken orally as a capsule or liquid and is collected in the thyroid gland (goiter) cells by absorbing from the digestive system, and the radiation emitted by radioiodine stops the growth and activity of the thyroid cells. The function of overactive thyroid gland returns to normal or unwanted thyroid tissue is removed.
Which diseases are treated with radioiodine?
In goiter diseases that the thyroid gland works much and that cause to increase the thyroid gland hormones in the blood.
In some cancers of the thyroid gland.
What are the side effects of radioiodine treatment?
Radioiodine treatment has been successfully used in the treatment of thyroid gland (goiter) diseases for 50 years.
During treatment; no significant side effects and hair loss will be seen, and infertility will not occur. Swelling in salivary gland and decrease on the saliva production in the future can be seen in some patients. The incidence of these side effects are reduced by chewing gum and consuming lemon for two days.
What is the amount of radioiodine given and is it a must to stay in the hospital?
Radioiodine dose varies depending on the nature of the thyroid. It can be administered in some patients at low doses and in some patients at higher doses. If low dose will be administered, the patient does not need to stay in the hospital and can go home after treatment. If high dose will be administered, the patient must stay in the private room prepared for radioiodine treatment in hospital to avoid emitting radiation. The amount of this dose is set by law. The length of hospital stay; is approximately 2 days based on the dose administered and the amount of radiation detected in the body with daily measurements.
How is the radioiodine removed out of the body and how long does it take?
An important part of the iodine taken orally is kept by the thyroid gland. Iodine kept in the other parts of the body is in a very low amount and is not harmful to the tissue. Radioiodine is removed out of the body with urinary tract mostly and sometimes with saliva, sweat and feces. Radioiodine which could not be removed of the body is automatically removed out of the body, there will be no radiation in your body between 10 days to 1 month. The time of stay of radioiodine in the body is lesser at lower doses, longer at higher doses.
How is the radioiodine administered and what should be taken into consideration while administration?
Radioiodine is administrated by a Nuclear Medicine personnel to the patient in a glass of water or as a capsule.
During administration, you must be careful not to spill even a drop of liquid to the ground.
Patients should not eat and drink anything 4-6 hours before treatment.
Who are not applied the radioiodine treatment?
It is never used for pregnant patients!!!
Before treatment women should take a pregnancy test to make sure that they are not pregnant, and it is advised that female patients should not become pregnant for 6 months after treatment.
Radioiodine treatment can only be applied to the mothers in lactation period after they stop lactating.
It is not administered to the patients who use iodine-containing medication or have an x-ray with iodine-containing substances.
In addition, our clinic provides Radioactive iodine uptake (with I-131) test and Bone Mineral Densitometry service.