University of Ioannina, PC 45110, Greece
+30 26510 07436

Objectives of the course: It is students' acquaintance with metabolic (or functional) imaging, which is the field of practice of the specialty of Nuclear Medicine. The course also includes a section on radioimmunoassay diagnosis (RIA-IRMA in vitro) and the administration of radioisotopes for therapeutic purposes.

Course content: The teaching approach is to describe the major diagnostic and therapeutic radioisotopic methods used in Nuclear Medicine, the specialty of medicine that uses radioactive isotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This concept involves the use of specific drugs, which are labeled with radioactive tracers. These complexes are called radiopharmaceuticals and emit radiation in the form of gamma-rays, alpha or beta particles.

The diagnostic aspect of Nuclear Medicine consists of scintigraphic (in vivo) imaging and radioimmunological (in vitro) assays. Scintigraphy constitutes a functional imaging modality, which provides unique diagnostic information. The procedure begins with the –usually intravenous– administration of a radiopharmaceutical, followed by the acquisition of images in an appropriate imaging modality called gamma-camera. The images recorded from various organs of the human body reflect on the pattern of each radiotracer uptake and metabolism, thus illustrating the functional status of the tissue and organ being tested.

The radioimmunological (in vitro) applications of Nuclear Medicine involve the use of radioactive tracers in the measurement of various substances and hormones in the blood serum, without the patient being exposed to radiation.

Finally, the therapeutic application of Nuclear Medicine involves the administration of radiopharmaceuticals that emit particles. These are concentrated selectively in the targeted-for therapy tissue, irradiating it "internally" and thereby causing increased cell destruction, aiming at therapy.

Mode and outcomes of teaching: The course includes theoretical tutorials, followed by clinical and laboratory practice at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, in small groups of students. Students become familiar with the basic principles of the faculty (i.e. preparation of radiopharmaceuticals , principles of radiation protection, demonstration of gamma-camera operation, scintigraphic imaging, medical reporting of the scintigraphic studies).The training is enhanced by the analysis and discussion of representative cases of the most common scintigraphic examinations (e.g. scintigraphy of the thyroid gland, skeleton, myocardium , kidneys, lungs, etc.), as well as the main therapeutic applications of Nuclear Medicine (e.g. administration of radioiodine in benign and malignant thyroid diseases , palliative therapy in patients with multiple painful metastases to the bones etc.).

Hours of training per student: 30

From the 7th Semester