ISM / JEAN-DENIS LAREDO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ISM / JEAN-DENIS LAREDO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis of the spine. Scintigram of the spine of a patient with osteoporosis. The T12 vertebra has developed a compression fracture and appears darker. Osteoporosis is characterised by loss of bone density and deterioration of bone tissue, and causes pain and immobility. It is most common in post-menopausal women. A diet rich in calcium and regular weight-bearing exercise can help prevent it. Prior to a scintigram the patient is injected with a radioactive tracer, here technetium-99, that accumulates in the bones. A gamma camera is then used to detect the gamma rays emitted by the tracer.
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