(Services provided at The Valley Hospital)
Unlike anatomical imaging tests like X-ray and CT, nuclear medicine tests provide doctors with information about both anatomy and function within the body. Nuclear medicine tests can visualize blood flow and function to the heart, lungs and other organs; evaluate bones for fractures, infection and arthritis; detect cancer within the body’s organs, measure thyroid function and more.
Nuclear medicine uses a radiopharmaceutical—administered orally or intravenously—to help obtain images. This safe radioactive material (about the same exposure as that of an x-ray) enables a special camera to reconstruct the imaged areas within the body.
PET, which stands for positron emission tomography, is a form of nuclear medicine imaging that images glucose metabolism in the body. It is used to diagnose and stage tumors, as well as evaluate dementia.