CENTRE JEAN PERRIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CENTRE JEAN PERRIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human lungs. False-colour computer enhanced gamma scan (scintigram) of healthy human lungs. The lungs appear inflated. Regions of the lungs have absorbed different levels of radioactive tracer, showing as coloured rings from the centre outward. Gamma scanning involves introducing a radioactive isotope into the body, in this case Technetium-99m which is taken up by the lungs and detected by a gamma camera. The isotope emits gamma rays which are detected as flashes of light. Isotopes are chosen for their ability to gather in cancerous or inflamed tissue, producing "hot spots" that would be highlighted on the scan. Gamma scan sections of lung tissue can be examined in slices.
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