Since the discovery of artificially produced radioisotopes in the 1930s, an estimated 10-12 million nuclear medicine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are currently performed each year only in the United States. Gamma emission imaging has been successfully applied to almost every organ of the body (brain, bone, heart, kidney, lung, neuroreceptors) as well as sites of inflammation, atherosclerosis, and thrombosis. FDG-PET has been used in some of the inflammatory diseases as well. On the other hand, both alpha and beta-emitting isotopes have been evaluated for brachytherapy of rheumatoid diseases, each with different radiobiological effectiveness. The current status of radionuclides for imaging, therapy and research studies of inflammatory processes is reviewed here and a look into the future directions is described at the conclusion.