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Radiology Services

Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT

What is Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT?
These procedures are tests performed by highly skilled professionals to diagnose a variety of diseases and disorders and learn about organ function through the use of radioactive materials.

What are the uses of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT?
Nuclear medicine and PET/CT administers a radiopharmaceutical that targets specific organs. Some widely used tests include bone scans, cardiac imaging, hepatobiliary imaging, lung scans and thyroid scans and uptakes.

Is there any special preparation?
Below are specific preparation sheets that will give you more details. Be sure to find out how many scans are involved with your test and the time frame involved with each. 

If your test is not listed, please call 314-205-6518 and ask to speak to a technologist for more information.

What is involved with Nuclear Medicine and PET testing?
For the most part, scanning is simply a matter of lying on a table while the scanner does the work.

A radioactive compound called a radiopharmaceutical is introduced into the body by injection, ingestion or inhalation. This gives off gamma rays or positron emission (similar to x-rays). The organ specific compound then travels through the body. A special camera is used at specified time intervals to detect the gamma rays and record them to create an image of the organ being examined. A computer stores these images which are recorded on film and studied for interpretation. Many tests require two scans.

Nuclear Medicine Lab Recognized
The Nuclear Medicine and PET Departments at St. Luke's Hospital have been granted accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories (ICANL). The St. Luke's nuclear and PET laboratory is one of the first labs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to be recognized by ICANL for a commitment to high quality patient care and diagnostic testing. The Nuclear Medicine and PET Department was accredited for general nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology and PET.

Additional Information
Every precaution is taken when you have a nuclear medicine procedure. Exposure to radiation is low because only small quantities are needed for diagnosis. Exposure is short because the drugs lose most of their radioactivity in hours or days. Nuclear medicine and PET procedures are carefully controlled. Facilities, equipment and materials meet strict safety standards. Safety is foremost in the minds of the nuclear medicine personnel.