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Nuclear medicine procedures are performed after administration of a radionuclide labeled with various pharmaceuticals (radiopharmaceuticals) that have special affinity for specific organs or structures. The most commonly used radionuclide is Technetium 99m (99mTc). 99mTechnetium-MethyleneDiPhosphonate (99mTc-MDP) is used for bone imaging. 99mTc-Pertechnatate is used for thyroid scintigraphy and trans-splenic portal scintigraphy.
Injected radiopharmaceuticals accumulate in the target organ and radioactivity is then detected using the gamma camera. Images are displayed using a computer. Nuclear medicine images are usually of relatively poor resolution, but provide unique, functional information about specific organs.
The nuclear medicine facility at the Ohio State Veterinary Teaching Hospital has two gamma cameras; a rectangular, large field-of-view camera and a round, small field-of-view camera. The cameras are linked to a dedicated computer using Mirage software.
The large field-of-view gamma camera is mounted on a rail attached to the ceiling and can be moved easily in all directions. This is particularly useful when performing bone scans on horses.
Routine nuclear medicine procedures include the following:
Trans-splenic portal scintigraphy
Lung perfusion scintigraphy
Other nuclear medicine procedures may be available upon special request.