Overview of Molecular Imaging
• Advancements in this field are applicable to the diagnosis of oncologic, endocrine, neurological and cardiovascular diseases. This technique also improves treatment options of certain diseases by optimizing the testing of chemotherapeutics and other medications..
• Molecular imaging is expected to have a major economic impact due to earlier and more precise diagnosis. For example, a PET scan saves the patient or his insurance company thousands of dollars be eliminating unnecessary biopsies and surgeries. Molecular and functional Imaging
• Molecular imaging differs from traditional radiographic imaging, which focuses on anatomy; molecular imaging literally operates at the molecular level and therefore permits evaluation of metabolic pathways. The radiotracers injected into patients produce images reflective of molecular changes within an internal organ. This is very different than imaging based on the density of bone, muscle, and fat.
• Molecular imaging permits early detection and treatment of disease and basic pharmaceutical development. Furthermore, molecular imaging permits quantitative evaluation of uptake in an internal organ or tumor.
• Molecular imaging may help to identify a disease before there are symptoms.
• There are many different modalities that can be used for noninvasive molecular imaging. Each has its different strengths and weaknesses and some are more adept at imaging multiple targets than others.