The Clinical Department for Nuclear Medicine of the MedUni Vienna at the General Hospital of Vienna is one of the largest and most important nuclear medicine departments in Europe. Radioactive isotopes or radioactive chemical compounds, so-called radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive drugs) are used for diagnosis or therapy in nuclear medicine. The examinations are often referred to as "Scintigraphy", "Scan" or "Isotope examination".
Radiation exposure is roughly comparable to that of an x-ray examination and is between one to ten times as much compared to natural radiation to which all people are exposed.
The functional assessment of organs, tissue and bones are at the forefront of nuclear medicine examinations. This ought to contribute to certain illnesses or their causes being better defined, thus providing a more effective treatment. Other imaging methods such as the x-ray examination or the ultrasound examination mainly provide structural information about organs, tissue and bones.
All procedures of conventional nuclear medicine such as thyroid, skeleton, lung, brain and heart examination as well as inflammation diagnostics in SPECT 1) and SPECT/CT technology are offered in the department. Functional imaging procedures such as SPECT or PET 2) could be a key influence in future therapy decisions and thus the choice of potential effective drugs with the use of ultra-precise biomarkers for the in-vivo characterisation of tumour lesions and their micro-environment.
Customised molecular imaging and therapy of oncological, cardiovascular and neuro-psychiatric illnesses are the central research topic of nuclear medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, taking into account immunological and inflammatory processes in particular. The entire science structure has been adapted to this goal and subdivided into research areas which are very well arranged in an interdisciplinary and translational way and covers the entire spectrum of biomarker development up to clinical application.
1) Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (abbreviated to SPECT)
2) Positron Emission Tomography (abbreviated to PET)