Radiochemical dating examples
The use of radiopharmaceuticals in diagnosis is growing at over 10% per year.The global radioisotope market was valued at .6 billion in 2016, with medical radioisotopes accounting for about 80% of this, and it is poised to reach about billion by 2021.In recent years specialists have also come from radiology, as dual positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) procedures have become established, increasing the role of accelerators in radioisotope production.However, the main radioisotopes such as Tc-99m cannot effectively be produced without reactors.* Radioisotopes are an essential part of medical diagnostic procedures.The thyroid, bones, heart, liver, and many other organs can be easily imaged, and disorders in their function revealed.In some cases radiation can be used to treat diseased organs, or tumours.Nuclear medicine uses radiation to provide information about the functioning of a person's specific organs, or to treat disease.In most cases, the information is used by physicians to make a quick diagnosis of the patient's illness.
These tracers are generally short-lived isotopes linked to chemical compounds which permit specific physiological processes to be scrutinised.In combination with imaging devices which register the gamma rays emitted from within, they can study the dynamic processes taking place in various parts of the body.In using radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis, a radioactive dose is given to the patient and the activity in the organ can then be studied either as a two dimensional picture or, using tomography, as a three dimensional picture.North America is the dominant market for diagnostic radioisotopes with close to half of the market share, while Europe accounts for about 20%.Nuclear medicine was developed in the 1950s by physicians with an endocrine emphasis, initially using iodine-131 to diagnose and then treat thyroid disease.
A more recent development is positron emission tomography (PET) which is a more precise and sophisticated technique using isotopes produced in a cyclotron.