Nuclear Medicine and PET

At OHSU Diagnostic Imaging Services your care and experience  is our number one priority. Please feel free to call with questions regarding your appointment: 503 418-0990.

Nuclear medicine scans may be may be used to evaluate the function of organs and/or tissues or for the presence of disease. It may also be used to follow the progress of treatment of some diagnosis.

At OHSU Diagnostic Imaging Services your care and experience is our number one priority. We are an ACR accredited facility and all our machines are certified. Our technologists are OBMI certified through the State of Oregon, as well as nationally registered with NMTCB and ARRT.  Our radiologists have all completed an ACGME nuclear medicine residency. Your appointment is unique to you and each exam is protocoled by one of our Nuclear Medicine Radiologists. Please feel free to call with questions regarding your appointment: 503 494-8468.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses small amounts of injected, inhaled or ingested radiopharmaceuticals. It utilizes a combination of many different disciplines, including chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology, and medicine.

The radiopharmaceuticals have a radioisotope component that emits gamma radiation.  Gamma radiation cannot be seen or felt, but can be detected by a Gamma Camera. The extent to which a radioisotope is absorbed, or "taken up," by a particular organ or tissue may indicate the level of function of the organ or tissue being studied. Specifically, nuclear medicine evaluates the metabolism of a particular organ or tissue, so that information about the physiology (functionality) and anatomy (structure) of the organ or tissue can be evaluated, as well as its biochemical properties. Thus, nuclear medicine exams may detect biochemical changes in an organ or tissue that can identify the onset of a disease process before anatomical changes related to the disease can be seen with other imaging processes, such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 

A nuclear medicine scan consists of three phases: tracer (radioisotope) administration, taking images, and image interpretation. The amount of time between administration of the tracer and the taking of the images may range from a few moments to a few days, depending on the body tissue being examined and the tracer being used. The time required to obtain the images may also vary from minutes to hours to several days. The final step is the image interpretation by specialty trained Radiologists.

A nuclear medicine scan consists of three phases: tracer (radioisotope) administration, taking images, and image interpretation. The amount of time between administration of the tracer and the taking of the images may range from a few moments to a few days, depending on the body tissue being examined and the tracer being used. The time required to obtain the images may also vary from minutes to hours to several days. The final step is the image interpretation by specialty trained Radiologists.