Nuclear and molecular imaging is often called nuclear radiology. It is a subspecialty of diagnostic radiology. This subspecialty encompasses dynamic and static nuclear imaging of pathophysiologic processes, radiopharmaceuticals, and quality control of nuclear imaging instruments. In layman’s terms, that means this branch of medical imaging uses small safe amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases.
Working Together With Other Physicians
Our radiologists work closely with other physicians and with the patient. It is important to us that we make certain communication is clear and complete among all involved parties. Our nuclear medicine and molecular imaging radiologists frequently work with oncologists (physicians who diagnose and treat cancer).
Common Health Issues and Body Systems
The range and application of nuclear radiology is wide. Physicians use it to image many types of cancers, heart disease, blood flow patterns and other conditions within the body. Radiologists in this subspecialty can shed light on the health, condition and function of nearly any internal portion of the body.
Collaborating With the Patient and Referring Physician
Personal physicians determine how they will work with a nuclear and molecular imaging radiologist. The radiologist’s role varies, depending on the health issue, the personal or referring physician and the patient. At Radiology & Imaging, we prefer to have our nuclear radiologists as actively involved as possible. Our nuclear radiologists have extensive training and experience in reading CTs, MRIs and other images. This high degree of expertise enables them to see and properly identify characteristics in the images that better equip the personal physician to diagnose the condition, treat it and give the patient the best opportunity for better long-term health.
Nuclear and Molecular Imaging Technology
Our nuclear medicine department has 4 cameras – 3 SPECT and 1 SPECT/CT scanner. In addition to these capabilities, we have a mobile PET/CT system. Our unique expertise and unsurpassed technology are available to help care for patients, from offering the earliest possible diagnosis to helping assess and manage treatment plans.
Nuclear and Molecular Imaging Services
The Department of Nuclear Medicine utilizes radioactive materials to diagnose the presence of disease in the body and to treat multiple types of cancer as well as conditions such as Graves’ disease.
Nuclear Medicine’s advanced imaging capabilities can identify changes in organ function. Hybrid SPECT/CT and PET/CT fusion imaging also is performed on specialized scanners that directly map the abnormal tissue physiology depicted on the nuclear images to the affected anatomic area displayed on the high-resolution CT images.
Patient therapy is a significant component of Nuclear Medicine. Treatments, and sometimes pain relief, are offered for conditions such as Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, cancer that has spread to the bone and refractory lymphomas. PET/CT scans also assist radiation oncologists in planning treatment with external sources of radiation.
- Bone: Bone cancer spread or identifying causes of pain
- Brain: Epilepsy, Tumors, Stroke/blood vessel narrowing
- Breast Cancer
- Cancer: All Organs
- Heart: Ischemia, Myocarditis, Sarcoidosis, Heart Muscle Viability, Ejection Fraction
- Infection and Inflammation: Osteomyelitis, Abscess
- Kidneys: Obstruction from stones or congenital, Renal Failure
- Liver/Gall Bladder: Abdominal Pain, Function of liver, gallbladder
- Lungs: Blood flow obstruction and/or airway obstruction
- Parathyroid: High Calcium Production
- Pediatric Imaging: Ureter Obstruction, Gastric Emptying and Reflux, Oncology
- Stomach: Gastric Motility, Reflux
- Thyroid: Hyperthyroidism, Goiter or Cancer
- Thyroid: Hyperthyroidism and Cancer
- Xofigo: Radioactive treatment and pain palliation for Prostate Cancer Patients
- Zevalin: Radioactive treatment of Lymphoma
Nuclear Medicine staff shares a strong commitment to education, expressed through training of radiology residents and cardiology fellows. Physicians are board-certified and clinically experienced in a broad array of specialties, including cardiology, neurology and radiology.
The Nuclear Medicine staff is active in the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Radiology.