Nuclear Medicine and PET Imaging

Icon Pet Ct Scan

Nuclear Medicine and PET Imaging

The most advanced medical imaging technique available today

PET/CT is the most advanced medical imaging technique available today, combining the fine structural detail of Computed Tomography (CT) with Positron Emission Tomography’s (PET) with ability to detect changes in cell function. This allows for earlier and more accurate detection of disease than either CT or PET alone. A PET/CT scan helps your physician diagnose a problem, determine the best approach to treatment, or monitor your progress.

Nuclear Medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials and highly advanced tecnology to detect changes in cellular function.

Our Nuclear Medicine and PET Imaging Services

Nuclear Medicine is an integral part of the Radiology department which uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers) and special cameras to create images used to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions. From benign conditions evaluated as an outpatient, emergent evaluation of acute symptoms, to evaluating treatment response in cancer patients, Hampton Roads Radiology offers a wide variety of Nuclear Medicine Imaging studies, led by fellowship-trained specialists.

This includes Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT imaging), which combines functional/physiologic information from the PET images, along with anatomic information from the CT performed at the same time. Most commonly, PET/CT imaging is used to assess abnormal metabolic activity and aids in detecting, staging, and assessing treatment response in cancer patients. By assessing functionality at the molecular level, PET/CT imaging offers increased sensitivity in detecting the earliest changes of disease before other modalities, which rely predominantly on anatomic changes alone.

In addition to PET/CT imaging of the body, a variety of nuclear medicine studies offered include specific evaluation of the following organs/organ systems, and/or conditions:

  • Gastric emptying studies – used to evaluate delayed or rapid emptying of food from stomach
  • Thyroid scans – used to assess thyroid function, or to further evaluate a thyroid nodule/mass
  • Parathyroid scans – used to detect parathyroid adenomas
  • Renal scans – to evaluate kidney function
  • Hepatobiliary studies – primarily used to evaluate for cholecystitis (acute or chronic) or biliary dyskinesia
  • Bone scans – to evaluate cause of pain/inflammation, as well as metastatic disease
  • Pulmonary scans – used primarily to evaluate for pulmonary embolus
  • Heart scans – can measure cardiac function, as well as assess for damage related to heart attack
  • Infection – many different radiotracers are available to evaluate for infection of various parts of the body

Further information regarding nuclear medicine imaging studies can be found at the links below: