The Radiology and Imaging department offers a range of nuclear medicine procedures.
Technologists are certified by the American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT) and the state of Texas. All registered and licensed health care professionals administer diagnostic tests under the supervision of a radiologist on the medical staff.
Nuclear medicine provides clinicians with information and images of the structure and function of organs that cannot be obtained by other methods. A subspecialty within the field of radiology, nuclear medicine or positron emission tomography (PET) uses very small amounts of radioactive material.
Nuclear medicine procedures are noninvasive and are performed to:
- Analyze kidney function
- Visualize heart blood flow and function (such as a myocardial perfusion scan)
- Scan lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems
- Identify blockage in the gallbladder
- Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis and tumors
- Determine the presence or spread of cancer
- Identify bleeding into the bowel
- Locate the presence of infection
- Measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or underactive thyroid
- Investigate abnormalities in the brain
Nuclear imaging uses radioactive materials called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer, which is injected into a vein or swallowed and then travels to the intended organ. A special gamma camera records this radioactivity in the form of images. The camera works together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and other internal body parts.
- The information provided by nuclear medicine examinations is unique and often unattainable using other imaging procedures
- Nuclear medicine scans can provide information helpful in the development of a care plan
- Nuclear medicine is physically less traumatic than exploratory surgery
Nuclear medicine images can be superimposed with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce special views leading to more precise information and accurate diagnoses. Nuclear medicine also offers therapeutic procedures for medical conditions affecting the thyroid gland.
To learn more about nuclear medicine procedures, please visit RadiologyInfo.org, provided by the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America.
The Patient Order Form is needed for all outpatient exams.