The diagnostic precision offered by nuclear medicine and molecular imaging stands out

Posted note: 2021-11-09

Aleyda Gutierrez Guerrero

When speaking of modern and sophisticated medical science, the concept of personalized and precision medicine must be taken into account; that is, to analyze the cases individually and not the diseases as a group, because it has been discovered that these can have various features that make them different and therefore the treatments must be specific.

To share timely information about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging with modern and sophisticated diagnostic techniques, for the benefit of health care, Iván Eudaldo Díaz Meneses offered a virtual chat through the Teams platform.

The associate professor of the Postgraduate Course of High Medical Specialty in Nuclear Neurosciences of the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of Mexico spoke of positron emission tomography applied to neurosciences, an area where he considers it has great potential for development, and highlighted the importance to deepen the knowledge of the disease with higher, more refined criteria.

“After the physical, laboratory and cabinet studies, when there is no diagnostic certainty, even with magnetic resonance imaging, it must be escalated to the next level, which is positron emission tomography (PET) and Spect, made by doctors. nuclear, “he said.

Many times, he said, it is believed that the possibilities in terms of diagnostic imaging are exhausted, but there is still the possibility of turning to nuclear medicine and molecular imaging and lesions can be detected in parts that are difficult to access.

“Addressing it more broadly and having more information makes us more precise and accurate in the diagnosis. Certain clinical questions are difficult and remain incomplete if you take these studies out of the equation ”, highlighted the nuclear medicine doctor.

Díaz Meneses explained that the brain can be studied from different points of view: morphological, laboratory, as well as physiological and biochemical, and that it is right here where nuclear medicine and molecular imaging specialize, as it does not have such a morphological potential as tomography or MRI.

In the talk Clinical utility of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in neurosciences, carried out as part of the health care promotion activities carried out by the Student Support Directorate, he indicated that through the wonders of medical technology you can learn more about the brain.

“There is a lot of growth potential for the application of positron emission tomography to have a great field of development in the future, not only from the point of view of nuclear physicians but also from the whole range of specialties and areas of knowledge. who are involved in these studies of the brain and in that sense also the area of ​​medical physics has a lot to contribute ”, he highlighted.

In his presentation he showed various images of the brain and pointed out that imaging is an extension of the senses of human beings because it helps to know what the eyes cannot see, and that in a philosophical sense it would be like a sixth sense.

There is a lot of data summarized in an image, he stressed, information has to be extracted, interpreted and put in a way that is useful in daily clinical practice, and that helps patients to know what is happening inside their bodies and to them. help your doctors make important decisions.

Positron emission tomography is a functional study with an anatomical framework, which is what gives it the degree of complexity and is where nuclear medicine and molecular imaging can make the discernment between patients who are clinically similar but molecularly shown. different, what happens in the case of cancer, reported.

“There are a large number of molecules of various kinds within the brain, if we have the ability to visualize them, to know how the body processes them, synthesizes them, how it uses them and in what place, we have the ability to make diagnoses, and this we can do thanks to radiotracers that can follow specific paths.

“We should not confuse a radiotracer with a contrast medium, because it is something that has a biological interaction at levels even in the cell nucleus. They are compounds that are directed to a molecular target, but choosing the molecule to be used with each patient is very important, you must know which one is indicated ”, he explained.

He presented examples of how nuclear medicine works in the brain and highlighted the importance that interpreters must have highly specialized medical knowledge so that they understand the image.

Esther Félix Bustamante, a student of the Degree in Medical Physics, introduced the speaker and moderated the talk held on November 8 and where the guest highlighted the importance of having effective communication to publicize what is being done in the field of medical imaging, specifically nuclear medicine and molecular imaging that traditionally has not been as visible as it should be.

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