Nuclear radiology is valuable in assessing pathophysiology of a variety of organ systems. Pharmacologic interventions are often employed in radionuclide imaging to monitor the physiologic changes, which in turn facilitate the diagnosis. Metoclopramide, erythromycin, and cisapride have been used for gastric emptying studies. To overcome false-negative results, cimetidine, pentagastrin, and glucagon have been used in imaging of Meckel diverticula. Pharmacologic intervention with either cholecystokinin-8 or morphine is used primarily for the assessment of diseases of the gallbladder, common bile duct, and sphincter of Oddi. Pharmacologic interventions performed during renography include diuretic administration, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, and aspirin renography. Recombinant thyrotropin can be used in patients with previously treated thyroid carcinoma who require lifelong follow-up for recurrent disease. Cardiac pharmacologic stress agents fall into two categories: coronary vasodilating agents, such as dipyridamole and adenosine, and cardiac positive inotropic agents, such as dobutamine and arbutamine. Measurement of hemodynamic responses to pharmacologic flow augmentation with carbon dioxide or acetazolamide is valuable in cerebrovascular perfusion studies.
Copyright RSNA, 2002