radionuclide

Definition / meaning of radionuclide

An unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable. Radionuclides may occur in nature or be made in a laboratory. In medicine, they are used in imaging tests and in treatment. Also called radioisotope.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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