The fundamental basis of nuclear medicine is the radiopharmaceutical – a drug which includes a radionuclide emitting radiation. The radiopharmaceutical is administered (orally or intravenously) to the patient and is then captured and retained in cells and tissues. The capacity of the radiopharmaceutical to locate specific organs and cell receptors allows it to supply information on the disease process based on cellular function and anatomy. The emissions from the radiopharmaceutical are received by external detectors, such as a gamma camera and camera PET, which are able to form images from the captured radiation.
“What we do, here in Nuclear Medicine, is strictly regulated, with very specific national and international standards, which we are obligated to comply with on a daily basis, so that we can be certain that the activity and quantity of ionizing radiation given to patients is small enough.
Moreover, we also know that when we release our patients from our Department, the quantity of radiation emitted by these patients is small enough – almost negligible – and we are sure that they are not going to expose other people to potentially harmful radiation during the timeframe that the patient is expelling the radiopharmaceuticals.
The usage of radiopharmaceuticals in diagnostics, either in classical radiology or in nuclear medicine, tells us that there are no harmful effects regarding the quantity of ionizing radiation used for diagnostics and for therapeutics.” – Prof. Durval Costa, Head of Nuclear Medicine at the CCC
At the CCC our mission is to utilise radiopharmaceuticals to provide the best possible service with a rapid response in all areas of diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine. This includes General Nuclear Medicine, Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and therapy with radionuclides.
Our highly experienced team is involved in clinical research and active in a number of projects aimed at improving the quality of diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine.
Learn more about the role of nuclear medicine from the Director of our Nuclear Medicine, Prof. Durval Costa:
Our Nuclear Medicine doctors
Durval Costa, Director of Nuclear Medicine