The principles of nuclear medicine studies are based on the assessment of radionuclidic distribution in different parts of a given organ after in vivo administration of a radiopharmaceutical to distinguish between the normal and abnormal tissues. Such assessment of radionuclide distribution is performed by imaging systems that primarily comprise NaI(T1) detectors and the associated electronics described in the previous chapter. There are two major imaging systems: rectilinear scanners and scintillation cameras. The rectilinear scanner used mostly in the early 1960s consists of a NaI(T1) detector and a focused collimator along with associated electronics. Images were obtained by moving the collimated detector head back and forth over the area of interest on the patient and projecting the point-by-point output pulses generated along the trajectory on an x-ray film. Because of the point-by-point scanning, the technique is time-consuming and lacks the advantage of simultaneous visualization of the entire area of interest. For these reasons, these scanners have been phased out in nuclear medicine, only to be replaced by scintillation cameras that are capable of simultaneous visualization of the area of interest. The scintillation cameras permit the dynamic acquisition of the images with better spatial resolution, and can be oriented in any direction around the patient.
KeywordsGamma Camera Pinhole Collimator Simultaneous Visualization Scintillation Camera Tapered Hole
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