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PET scanning

PET scanning

M410/0077

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Credit

ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption

Person undergoing brain scan technique known as Positron Emission Tomography (PET); the person's head is surrounded by the circular detector, with an image of his brain (normal) visible at top. The PET scan is preceded by injecting a positron- emitting radioisotope (produced in a cyclotron) into the body: the detector is sensitive to photons produced when positrons emitted collide with electrons from the molecules in the brain (known as tracers) to which the radioisotope has been dedicated. Applications include use of radioactive oxygen to measure oxygen usage in senile dementia, cerebrovascular disease and brain tumours. Subject is Dr. Henry Wagner, director of nuclear.

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