Nuclear medicine allows safe, painless, and cost-effective techniques to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine imaging is unique because it provides physicians with information about both structure and function. It is a way to gather medical information that would otherwise be unavailable, require surgery, or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease, long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine is often used to detect tumors, infections, analyze kidney function, examine blood flow and heart function, detect cancer, and scan liver, bone and lungs.
Crouse Hospital has invested in state-of-the-art nuclear medicine imaging technology to bring the most accurate and effective diagnosis and treatment to its patients.
One such technology is the SPECT/CT scanner, which combines the detail of a CT with the sensitivity of nuclear medicine.
Crouse Hospital uses the only SPECT/CT hybrid scanner in Central New York that utilizes diagnostic quality Computed Tomography (CT). SPECT/CT combines the functional sensitivity of a Single Photo Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) system with the detailed information provided by a multi-slice CT system. Performed in Nuclear Medicine, SPECT displays organ function, cell metabolism and other functional elements in the human body.
What to Expect
You’ll be given a small amount of radioactive tracers, either intravenously or orally. Then, you will lie on a special table and be positioned near a gamma camera, which will take the images.
The time it takes for a tracer to travel through a patient’s body and accumulate in the area of study can vary from seconds to days. Because of this, scanning times vary and may takes place over a course of a few days.
Procedures are not painful but often require special preparation. You should receive specific instructions from your physician on how to prepare for your procedure. If you don’t, call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 315-470-7461, and our staff will assist you.
Is Nuclear Medicine Safe?
Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose and treat disease. The radiopharmaceuticals are detected by special types of cameras that work with computers to provide very precise pictures of the area of the body being imaged. In treatment, the radiopharmaceuticals go directly to the organ being treated.
The amount of radiation in a typical nuclear imaging procedure is comparable with that received during a diagnostic X-ray, and the amount received in a typical treatment procedure is kept within safe limits.
In addition, our staff of board-certified radiologists and technologists is specifically trained in all areas of nuclear medicine to give you the most effective and safest procedure available.