Isotope shortage means a healthcare crisis --------------------
The radioisotope is needed to scan for heart disease and cancer. Two nuclear reactors that produce it have been shut down, severely limiting the supply, and alternatives are scant.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
August 9 2009
The abrupt shutdown of two aging nuclear reactors that produce a radioisotope widely used in medical imaging has forced physicians in the U.S. and abroad into a crisis, requiring them to postpone or cancel necessary scans for heart disease and cancer, or turn to alternative tests that are not as accurate, take longer and expose patients to higher doses of radiation.