Radioactive isotopes help neurosurgeon

In recent years the method tracer is becoming more widespread. It is applied in various fields of medicine to study the physiological processes and metabolism in the human body, for the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. Just as the discovery of the microscope has allowed scientists to see and then to explore the unknown world of the smallest living creatures, and the method tracer allows "to see" the complicated processes occurring in the human body. The use of radioactive isotopes opens wide perspectives and neurosurgery. In particular, it is a valuable additional method for the diagnosis of tumors of the brain and spinal cord.
With the availability of modern dosimetric equipment methodology of this study is simple, available and, most importantly, harmless. The patient was given to drink, or with an injection is injected into a vein in the hands of a small amount of radioactive substances (radioactive iodine, iodine-fluorescein-labeled albumin of blood serum and so on), which has the property to accumulate in tumor cells to a greater extent than in the surrounding healthy cells of the brain tissue. Then to various areas of the head put sensor acquired scintillation counter, catching finely radioactive radiation. In the place where the tumor is located most closely, the device will lock the focus of gamma radiation, that is the greatest intensity of radioactive pulses. In many cases in the area of location of the tumor trapped radiation, on 2-3 thousand pulses in excess of radiation surrounding healthy parts of the brain.
The first encouraging results obtained from the application of some radioactive isotopes (cobalt, gold, yttrium, boron) for the treatment of brain tumors. Currently, however, this method cannot replace surgical treatment, and must be used together with him.
Very simple and reliable Soviet scientists developed a method of diagnostics of tumors of the spinal cord. These tumors, located within the spinal canal, compress the spinal cord at any particular level: to find, and then cut the tumor, the surgeon must remove the arms two or three vertebrae. Routine clinical research, as a rule, makes it possible to establish at what "level" of the spinal cord is a tumor - in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacral spine. However, there are cases when this topical diagnosis is in doubt, and then neurosurgeon again comes to the aid of the method of radioactive isotopes.

The radioactive substance introduced into the body, has the ability to accumulate in tumor tissue. In the place where it is located, acquired scintillation counter catches a flash of gamma and beta radiation.

The patient in a sitting position, make the spinal puncture, which we have already said above. Then in the intrathecal space of the spinal cord impose a very small amount of radioactive gas - radon, which is an emanation of radium.
Bubble radon, introduced under the membranes of the spinal cord, due to its lightness rises quickly. But here he comes to "block", i.e. to the lower border of the tumor, slavivshii the spinal cord and its membranes. Here bubble, of course, stops. At the same time, the radiologist slowly holds the sensor acquired scintillation counter along the spine of the patient from the bottom up and top down. But at some point in the spine of the device caught the presence of the most intense radiation. This means that in this place stood a bubble of radon and, therefore, is located here and the tumor.

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