Nuclear medicine is an advanced diagnostic imaging modality which noninvasively images the physiological or functional processes of the body. Due to the ability to image function versus anatomy, nuclear medicine can often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests.
Nuclear medicine scans are generally more organ or tissue specific (example: lung scans, cardiac scans, bone scans, etc.) than those in other radiology procedures which typically focus on a section or region of interest (example: chest x-ray, abdominal or pelvic CT scan, head CT scan, etc.). In addition, there are nuclear medicine studies that allow imaging of the whole body based on certain cellular receptors or functions that can diagnose conditions such as infections and cancer. Images are obtained using a small amount of a radioactive tracer, called a radiopharmaceutical that is specific to the organ system of interest. The radiation used in nuclear medicine is a diagnostic amount and has a very short half-life. This means that it is removed from the body through natural decay and through bodily function quickly (usually in about a day a diagnostic tests).
Common nuclear medicine scans include but are not limited to:
→ Myocardial perfusion scans-to assess regional blood flow through the coronary arteries to the heart muscle, decreased blood flow is caused by blockages in the coronary arteries which causes heart attacks.
→ Bone scans-used to evaluate metastatic disease, fractures, cellulitis or osteomyelitis
→ HIDA scans-for right upper quadrant pain or bloating to assess the liver, gallbladder, and biliary tract
→ Lung Scans-to determine the presence of pulmonary emboli
→ Gastric Emptying scans- to detect abnormal gastric emptying rates that can be caused by diseases or surgical procedures
→ GI Bleed localization- to determine the site of GI bleeding
→ Renal Scan-most often used to determine how well your kidneys are functioning
Wickenburg Community Hospital offers medical imaging Under the medical direction of John James, DO, Wickenburg Community Hospital is honored to provide comprehensive medical and diagnostic imaging using state-of-the-art technology. We invest in the latest technology to remain on the cutting edge for our patients. With the latest scanner imaging technology, we are able to provide faster scan times, lower radiation doses, and improved image quality. You can have your orders sent to Wickenburg Community Hospital and call 928-668-1803 to schedule your imaging appointment, or simply walk-in with your order and we will provide you with high quality service!