Is a specialized area of radiology that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose, evaluate or treat a variety of diseases. Nuclear medicine exams can pinpoint molecular activity, they have the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages. They can also show whether a patient is responding to treatment.
Nuclear medicine imaging provides unique information that often cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures and offers the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages.
Positron Emission Tomography, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. PET scan may detect the early onset of disease by identifying changes at the cellular level before other imaging tests can. PET uses a small amount of radioactive material that can be detected on the PET scanner.
Positron Emission Tomography
The most commonly used radiotracer is F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose, or FDG, a molecule similar to glucose. Cancer cells are more metabolically active and may absorb glucose at a higher rate. This higher rate can be seen on PET scans.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is a means of measuring bone mineral density using spectral imaging. Two X-ray beams, with different energy levels, are aimed at the patient's bones. When soft tissue absorption is subtracted out, the bone mineral density can be determined from the absorption of each beam by bone.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
Is the most commonly used and the most standard method for diagnosing osteoporosis, to assess an individual’s risk for developing osteoporotic fractures.