JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gamma scanning. Gamma camera scans a woman's head as part of a scintigraphy diagnostic procedure. Scintigraphy involves a patient being injected with or swallowing a radioactive substance which gives off high-energy electromagnetic waves (gamma rays). The radioactive substance is taken up in different concentrations by different parts of the body. The gamma rays pass through tissue to a gamma camera which monitors the distribution of radioactivity within the body. The images produced by the camera reflect how the body is functioning, as active areas take up more of the radioactive substance.
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