Nuclear medicine subspecialists are clinical experts who identify and treat diseases such as cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and neurological disorders in their earliest stages through the use of small amounts of radioactive material. This radioactive material is administered into the body through injection, orally (swallowing), or as an inhalation, allowing for specialized imaging equipment to detect the radiation emitted, thereby producing a digitized image of a particular part of the body.
There are different types of tracers that can evaluate different organs and diseases. Nuclear medicine is commonly used to evaluate the gallbladder, liver, thyroid, lungs, and heart without surgery. It can also be used to treat diseases such as hyperthyroidism, certain cancers, and bone pain. RPI nuclear medicine physicians work hand in hand on a daily basis with surgeons, oncologists, family practitioners, and more.
Common nuclear medicine procedures performed by RPI physicians include:
- Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
- Ventilation-Perfusion Lung Scan
- Bone Scan
- Thyroid Scan
- Hepatobiliary Scan
- Gastric Emptying Scan and Renal Scan
PET-CT combines the functional information of PET (positron emission tomography) with the anatomic information of CT (computed tomography). It can be used to image various types of tumors including those of the lung, breast, colon, and lymphoma. This technology is also used for brain imaging in cancer, dementia, and seizure patients. These exams are read by a very small core group of RPI radiologists with particular expertise and interest in the specialty.