Diagnosing Musculoskeletal Infections with Isotope Flourine – 18

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Date Submitted: 11/13/2012 06:07 PM

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The usage of the isotope Flourine – 18 has proven to be a vital part of diagnostic assessment and treatment of numerous cancers, infections, and diseases. One such field of conditions diagnosed through the use of Flourine – 18 are musculoskeletal infections. In this case, the isotope is used in PET (positron emission tomography) scans for the imaging diagnosis process.

In order for the fluorine – 18 isotope to function as part of a positron emission tomography scan, it must first be synthesized into fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Once this is achieved, the FDG is injected into the patient before PET scan. Through the use of a PET facility, the system is able to detect gamma rays emitted by the positron-emitting radionuclide (meaning the isotope undergoes decay via positron emission) that were introduced to the body intravenously. The concentrations of tracers are then reconstructed into a three – dimensional model through computer analysis. In this case (since fluorodeoxyglucose is used), the concentrations imaged will display tissue metabolic activity (due to the intake of glucose by systems). This then allows for the diagnosis of various musculoskeletal diseases based on effected regions and severity (they will show up as absences of color/black on the displayed images).

The overall administration of fluorine – 18 is fairly simple. Once it has been synthesized into FDG, it is injected intravenously into the patient scheduled to undergo the PET scan. The main reason for this is that the direct administration of FDG into the blood stream allows for an increased rate of absorption, allowing for images to be taken sooner which is useful for a chemical with a relatively fast half-life at 109 minutes. All that follows this is the actual PET scan itself, in which the tracer concentrations are used to replicate three-dimensional images on a monitor.

Due to Flurodeoxyglucose’s fast emission rate, imaging can take place as early as 1 hour. The FDG PET scan also allows for...