Nuclear medicine

Medical Imaging is one of the most innovative and dynamic fields in the healthcare industry. It is crucial for disease diagnosis and has advanced remarkably over the last few years with widespread adoption of imaging systems like MRI, CT & USG and various modifications of these technologies. Some of the new trends in the medical imaging field include continued growth of various technologies such as: Anatomic imaging technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) clearly show morphologic features, such as size and shape, but not information on proliferation or inflammation.

Anatomic imaging technologies

Functional imaging technologies, such as positron emission tomo-graphy (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); use radiolabelled glucose or monoclonal antibodies to provide critical information on cellular activity; but cannot provide the anatomic detail needed for precise localisation. Physicians need both anatomic and functional data to make the definitive diagnosis that is so important to the patient.

Bringing together anatomic and functional information with sensitivity and specificity is the true value of multimodal fusion imaging, examples are PET-CT, SPECT-CT imaging. Fused images are use to plan surgical procedures; guide invasive or noninvasive therapeutic interventions, and monitor individual response to therapy.

Surgical procedures

Intraoperative imaging is a rapidly expanding field encompassing many applications that use a multitude of technologies. Some of these applications have been in use for many years and are firmly embed in, and indispensable to; clinical practice (e.g. the use of X-ray to locate foreign bodies during surgery or oocyte retrieval under ultrasound guidance or intra-operative ultrasound for the lesion localisation and treatment.

Most spine surgeries today are done using minimally invasive techniques to spare muscle and healthy tissues. To do this as effectively as possible; some form of intraoperative imaging is typically used to verify surgical accuracy. The intraoperative images help make sure that a spinal implant is placed in the desired place or that a tumour is dissected to the desired outcome. While providing excellent imaging resolution and navigation to guide an operation; the mobile CT scanner also permits the surgeon to obtain immediate CT images at the completion of surgery. This allows for immediate intraoperative intervention if necessary before surgical closure.

Intraoperative imaging

Intraoperative MRIs or iMRIs, can move into the or during surgery; providing real-time images while the patient lies stationary on the table. These images are transfer to the frameless navigation system and allow up-to-date assessment of the brain’s position and shift; the degree of tumour resection and residual tumour. This enables the surgeon to maximally resect tumour while preserving normal structures and brain tissue.
Though it has its own limitations in terms of cost and the technical difficulties; but it has wide applications in brain tumour surgery; epilepsy surgery and also for verification of electrode placement in surgeries for Parkinson’s disease and other disorders treated with deep brain stimulation.