In May 2022, Mediso Ltd acquired Bartec Technologies Ltd, a company with expertise in the installation, and supply of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging equipment as well as accessories in the UK. This acquisition is expected to bolster Mediso’s position in the UK market as well as in the Ireland market.
What is Nuclear Imaging?
Nuclear imaging, or gamma scintigraphy, can be described as a medical imaging method that generally works in combination with CT to review the disease’s severity level as well as the treatment effect. Despite the technique being non-invasive, tiny doses of radiopharmaceuticals are given intravenously, orally, or by the inhalation route to emit gamma rays. This emitted radiation is further scanned with the use of gamma detectors like positron emission tomography or single-photon emission CT to achieve 3D computerized images.
Nuclear imaging device has various uses in different types of neurological disorders, cardiovascular, cancers, endocrinal, and gastrointestinal diseases. Other than diagnostic use cases, nuclear imaging also helps in the treatment of cancers like thyroid-related tumors and non-Hodgkin lymphoma by radioimmunotherapy. Radionuclide imaging is now one of the most powerful and attractive modalities for molecular imaging when it comes to personalized cancer therapy.
What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medicine can be understood as a specialized segment of radiology that makes use of extremely tiny amounts of radioactive materials (aka radiopharmaceuticals) to assess organ function as well as structure. Nuclear medicine imaging is a combination of various disciplines, including physics, chemistry, computer technology, medicine, and mathematics. This segment of radiology is generally utilized for diagnosing and treating abnormalities at a very early stage during the progression of the condition, like thyroid cancer.
Since X-rays go via soft tissue, like muscles, blood vessels, and intestines, it is tough to visualize the tissues on a basic X-ray. However, nuclear imaging allows the visualization of tissue and organ structure along with function. The level at which the radiopharmaceutical gets absorbed by a specific tissue or organ indicates the degree of function of the tissue or organ being assessed. Therefore, diagnostic X-rays are deployed mainly to assess the anatomy, while nuclear imaging helps review the tissue and organ function.
A small volume of a radioactive substance is utilized throughout the procedure to help with the exam. The radionuclide or radioactive tracer or radiopharmaceutical is the radioactive substance used, which then gets absorbed by the body tissue. Various types of radionuclides are extensively available, including forms of elements like thallium, technetium, iodine, xenon, and gallium. The radionuclide type utilized depends on the kind of study as well as the body part that is being examined.
Following the collection of the radionuclide in the body tissue that is being studied, radiation is then given off, which in turn is identified by a radiation detector. The gamma camera is the most extensively used detector. A computer is used for storing the produced digital signals after the gamma camera has detected the radiation.
During a nuclear scan, by understanding the nature of the radionuclide within the body, the medical professional is able to study and diagnose numerous conditions, like infections, tumors, organ enlargement, cysts, or hematomas. In a few cases, a nuclear scan can be utilized for assessing organ function as well as blood circulation.
The common tests are:
Thyroid Scans – These scans help assess the thyroid function and sometimes to better review the thyroid mass or nodule.
Bone Scans – These scans help examine any arthritic or degenerative changes within the joints, for finding tumors and bone diseases. These also help understand the cause of bone inflammation or pain.
Renal Scans – These scans help study the kidneys, with the aim to detect any abnormalities, such as abnormal function or obstructed renal blood flow.
Heart Scans – These scans help in identifying any abnormal flow of blood to the heart. This helps determine the level of damage to the heart muscle following a heart attack, or to calculate the heart function.
Gallium Scans – These scans help diagnose active inflammatory or infectious diseases, abscesses and tumors.
Breast Scans – These scans are mostly deployed along with mammograms to detect and pinpoint cancerous tissues within the breast.
Brain Scans – These scans help investigate issues in the brain or the blood flow to the brain.
What are the Primary Nuclear Imaging Technologies?
Positron Emission Tomography
Positron emission tomography or PET can be described as a nuclear medicine procedure type that helps calculate the metabolic rate of the cells in the body tissues. It is a combination of biochemical analysis and nuclear medicine. Used generally in patients with heart or brain conditions as well as cancer, it helps see the biochemical changes happening in the body, like the metabolism rate (which is the process of cells changing food and drinks into energy digestion and absorption into the blood) of the heart muscle.
SPECT imaging system can be described as a nuclear imaging equipment type that is used for evaluating the disease processes, based on functional and metabolic information of organs and cells. Lately, the focus has been on improving the diagnostic capacity of different equipment in dual-modality or organic-specific systems, which is a favorable aspect for the nuclear imaging devices market. SPECT systems are a type of nuclear medicine-based, a noninvasive imaging method that makes use of gamma rays to provide 2D and 3D information regarding different internal organs. Internal organs and their functioning are analyzed with higher accuracy and assurance using SPECT imaging. SPECT offers 2D and 3D images of various organs while showing how they function, such as blood that is pumped by the heart or brain activity.
This nuclear medicine imaging technique makes use of radioactive substances known as probes along with a specialized camera that detects radioactivity and generates images. SPECT scanners are extremely useful when it comes to diagnosing seizures, Alzheimer`s, and strokes, among others. Heart-related issues like heart attacks, chest pains, and artery blockages can be studied with better precision. SPECT scanners generate 2D and 3D images. But for improved quality outcomes, it is imperative to effectively calibrate systems and the operation.
Nuclear Imaging Devices Market Status Quo
The market growth is bolstered by the rising inclination towards hybrid modalities in place of standalone, innovations in radiotracers, and the surging preference for personalized medicines. Also, investments via public-private alliances to upgrade diagnostic imaging centers coupled with the rising cases of cardiac ailments, and cancer will ensure sustained growth all through the coming years.