PET CT and Nuclear Medicine
Quality and Safety
Patients who undergo nuclear medicine/PET imaging can be assured of the highest quality at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. All St. Elizabeth Healthcare nuclear sites are accredited by the American College of Radiology. In addition, safety is paramount. All St. Elizabeth Healthcare nuclear medicine technologists will survey female patients between the ages of 12-55 for any possibility of pregnancy prior to radiopharmaceutical administration.
Nuclear medicine/PET, like most healthcare technologies, is always growing and evolving. Many innovations have developed over the past few years, expanding nuclear medicine’s scope of practice:
- Historically, the management of liver tumors has been a problem in the healthcare field. Surgically removing the tumor, with or without chemotherapy, has been used to improve the patient’s odds of survival. Unfortunately, many of these liver tumors are not operable. Y-90 microsphere therapy is used in these cases to attack the tumors within the liver—these radioactive spheres are deposited near the tumor by locating its blood supply and using catheters to reach the predetermined “best” location for effective killing of the tumor.
- DaTSCAN is a relatively new nuclear medicine exam used to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Three-dimensional images of the brain are used to investigate the areas of the brain most commonly affected by Parkinson’s. Normal tissue will have a large uptake of the isotope whereas a brain suffering from Parkinson’s will have reduced uptake.
- Sodium fluoride PET/CT bone scans represent a newer, more thorough evaluation of bone diseases than conventional nuclear medicine bone scans. Sodium fluoride is a radiopharmaceutical with higher energies that enable the scan to achieve higher sensitivity and specificity for the detection of metastatic cancers.