Nuclear Medicine Imaging

Nuclear medicine imaging uses a small amount of a radioactive drug, called a radiopharmaceutical, to provide information about particular systems in the body. Typically, a nuclear medicine imaging procedure will provide information on one particular system, and images are obtained using a machine called a gamma camera.

Nuclear medicine imaging is different to other medical imaging modalities such as x-ray, CT, MRI, and ultrasound in its ability to provide functional information on a particular system, as opposed to only structural information; namely, the way it is working rather than the way it physically appears. Nuclear Medicine is sensitive and is very useful as the structure of a given organ may look quite normal under x-ray or ultrasound but may not be functioning normally; showing abnormalities before they would otherwise appear with other imaging techniques.Moreover, with SPECT/CT technology, it is possible to perform a low-dose CT in combination with nuclear medicine imaging to view both functional and structural information together; further increasing the utility of nuclear medicine imaging.

At St. Vincent's Hospital, the Theranostics and Nuclear Medicine service provides many types of nuclear medicine imaging; ranging from bone, endocrine (thyroid, parathyroid), infection, myocardial perfusion (heart), renal (kidneys), pulmonary (lungs), gastrointestinal (stomach and bowel), and much more.

For further information about what nuclear medicine imaging is done within the department, click on the link.

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