Nuclear Medicine examinations allow functional imaging of an organ through an intravenous injection, inhalation or ingestion of a radioactive tracer. The distribution of this tracer is captured by a SPECT/CT scanner. The SPECT/CT scanner creates a 3D anatomical image on which a 3 D functional or metabolic image is superimposed upon.
Common procedures in nuclear medicine are: Bone Scans, Lung ventilations and perfusions.
A PET/CT scanner is also available at the Nuclear Medicine Department in Blackrock Clinic. A PET/CT scanner creates, like the SPECT/CT scanner, a 3D anatomical image on which a 3 D functional or metabolic image is superimposed. A fundamental difference between both scanners is the type of radioactive tracer used. With PET/CT imaging a radioactive glucose analogue is most often used.
The patient becomes briefly radioactive for all nuclear medicine examinations. You could be advised to take some precautions following the procedure, such as avoiding close contact with pregnant women or young children for a short period of time.