In conventional X-ray or CT examinations, the radiation comes out of a machine and then passes through the patient's body. Nuclear medicine exams use the opposite approach: a radioactive material is introduced into the patient's body (usually by injection), and is then detected by a machine called a gamma camera.
In addition to the standard types of nuclear medicine exams, BIDMC also has PET/CT and SPECT/CT imaging equipment, the most advanced type of nuclear imaging technology. Both machines combine functional nuclear medicine images with anatomic images provided by CT. PET is used primarily for the diagnosis and management of specific cancers, while SPECT can be used for cancer diagnosis and management as well as assist in the management of several benign diseases.
Nuclear medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess employs state-of-the-art gamma cameras which produce pictures of the body in the form of digital images. These images are displayed on specialized high resolution video monitors and reviewed within a few hours of the completion of an exam.
A doctor from nuclear medicine will provide the results of this test to your doctor. Your doctor will put together the results of this test and your other tests and then will explain the meaning of these results to you.