Nuclear medicine is the practice of using a radioactive tracer to determine the physiological activity of the patient. It can be in vivo or in vitro.
In vivo: this is when the tracer radioactivity is measured as it leaves the human body. Radionuclide imaging is an example of this in which a radiopharmaceutical is introduced into the patient and then a gamma camera images the radioactivity leaving the patient (e.g. bone scans)
In vitro: this is when a tracer is introduced into the patient and then tissue / fluid samples taken from the patient and the radioactivity measured from these. No images are produced.
This chapter covers radiopharmaceuticals, gamma camera imaging, planar imaging, SPECT, PET and factors affecting image quality, artefacts and quality assurance in nuclear imaging.