Nuclear medicine describes a type of diagnostic imaging called positron emission tomography, or PET scan. This type of scan can be used almost anywhere in the body to gain a better understanding of how organs are functioning. Unlike other imaging scans, like an MRI, nuclear medicine employs a gamma camera to trace activity in organs that have absorbed radiotracers, which are administered orally or through an IV.
The images produced can provide a more detailed look at molecular activity, including the growth of certain cells or the behavior of a particular organ. Below are some of the reasons why your doctor may recommend a PET scan for your diagnosis or management of your condition.
- Monitor the Spread of Cancerous Cells: Some cancers are more clearly identifiable through PET scans than through other means of imaging, which makes PET scans suitable for monitoring cancerous cell growth. Using nuclear medicine is less invasive than exploratory surgery, and it can offer your oncologist a better view of which treatments could be most beneficial for stopping the growth of malignant cells.
- See Changes in Brain Structure: Conditions of the nervous system or that related to dementia are often marked by changes within the brain tissue. Using a combination of PET and CT scanning, your physician can make a diagnosis and begin treatment earlier in the progression of these conditions.
- Identify Poor Heart Function: PET scanning can be used to determine if there is an insufficient supply of blood flowing to the heart. Poor heart function can be a sign of heart disease, and early detection can help your physician begin treatments to manage and prevent further damage.
For more information about PET scans and nuclear medicine, contact SWDIC today. Providing the highest standards of service and a patient-centered approach, Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center is a Dallas leader in diagnostic imaging and health screening. Visit us online to find a location near you, or call us today at (888) 530-1053.