Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive substance, or tracer, and a Gamma camera to diagnose or treat diseases. The tracer goes to a specific area of the body and emits a small amount of radiation, which the camera detects. Your care team may use nuclear medicine images to help diagnose or treat many conditions.
A unique level of care
Our Nuclear Medicine team offers a level of service and expertise available nowhere else in the region.
Our experienced team includes physicians who are fellowship-trained in nuclear medicine and certified by the American Board of Radiology. Our physicians are supported by a board-certified radiopharmacist, a radiochemist and board-certified nuclear medicine technologists.
In 1999, we opened our PET imaging center with the region's first PET scanner and the region's only hospital-based cyclotron. This allows us to offer exclusive imaging agents, such as our new C11-acetate scanning agent for detecting recurrent prostate cancer and staging hepatocellular carcinoma, that have attracted national referrals.
Nuclear medicine can often identify abnormalities long before they become apparent through other diagnostic procedures. Bone scans can detect occult fractures or osteomyelitis before they become evident on planar radiographs. Quantitative PET brain scans can diagnose Alzheimer's dementia 18 months before it can be clinically confirmed.
We can provide accurate diagnosis for conditions such as myocardial ischemia, lymphoma, esophageal cancer, brain tumors, epilepsy and Lyme disease-related vasculitis. We offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic imaging procedures such as:
- Bone density scans for osteoporosis and osteopenia
- PET scans
- SPECT brain scans
- Labeled RBC scans for left ventricular function (MUGA)
- Hepatobiliary scan for cholecystitis and gallbladder dyskinesia
- V/Q lung scans for pulmonary embolism
- Renal scan
- Gastric emptying test
- Thyroid uptake and scan
- Gallium and WBC scanning for infection
- Parathyroid adenoma scans
- NH3 PET for cardiac perfusion
- Lymphoscintigraphy for identifying sentinel nodes
- SPECT and SPECT/CT tumor imaging – includes octreotide, MIBG, PorstaScint, thallium, gallium, iodine and Zevalin scans
Most nuclear medicine therapies are provided on an outpatient basis to treat or provide palliative treatment for specific conditions. Therapies include:
- Radioactive I-131 for hyperthyroidism (Grave's disease) and thyroid cancer
- Strontium 89 for bone pain palliation in prostate, breast and lung cancer
- Zevalin for refractory lymphoma