Nuclear Medicine & Clinical Molecular Imaging

The Nuclear Medicine Division provides most of the diagnostic studies currently used in the field. Routine tests include imaging of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid, thyroid, parathyroid, lung (ventilation and perfusion), liver, biliary system, kidneys, gastrointestinal bleeding, testicular torsion, infection, patency of CSF shunts, Levine shunts, lymphatic system and adrenal glands. The division also offers gastrointestinal function testing for gastroesophageal reflux, gastric emptying of both solid and liquid meals, esophageal transit time, and gallbladder ejection fraction.

Cardiac Studies
Nuclear Medicine has a Comprehensive Cardiac Program which performs all types of cardiac studies, such as quantitative thallium scans and gated blood pool scans to determine cardiac ejection fraction and wall motion. The division has had extensive experience using Persantine, along with thallium imaging, for detecting coronary artery disease.

Nuclear Medicine MR & PET Scan

A demonstration of nuclear medicine's ability to "fuse" images from different modalities (MR & PET).

Other Services
The laboratory also provides measurements of red cell mass, plasma volume, red cell survival (including ferrokinetics), Schillings tests, thyroid uptake, and global renal function evaluation (including glomerular filtration rate).

Iodine-131 therapy for hyperthyroidism and thyroid carcinoma, as well as phosphorus-32 therapy for polycythemia vera, are provided routinely.

Advanced SPECT Imaging
The division has acquired an advanced spectroscopy (SPECT) imaging instrument that provides detailed scans of the brain, heart, bones, and other organs. Various neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, stroke, head trauma, seizures, depression, schizophrenia, and drug and alcohol addiction, can be effectively evaluated with this imaging technique. This brain-imaging expertise is unique to the Nuclear Medicine Division of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Cardiac disorders, including coronary artery diseases, can be more successfully diagnosed with this instrument than with conventional SPECT machines. This instrument is also helpful in the investigation of orthopaedic problems, such as disorders of the spine and knee.

The Nuclear Medicine Division has access to positron emission tomography (PET) and the related techniques for the evaluation of cardiac disorders and cancer. This technique is especially useful for grading the degree of malignancy, response to therapy, and detection of tumor recurrence.