Nuclear Medicine

Medicina Nuclear

Nuclear Medicine uses slightly radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, in very small quantities to diagnose abnormalities early in the progression of various conditions.  Frequently in many diseases, especially in tumors and infectious processes, the functional changes appear before they can be identified by structural changes.  These images, unlike most obtained in radiology, provide functional information, showing how individual systems of organs and tissues are functioning.  San Patricio MEDFLIX offers a wide gamut of Nuclear Medicine studies ranging from thyroid studies to skeletal system studies, and more recently the DaTScan to differentiate essential tremors from parkinsonian syndromes.  Iodine 131 therapy for patients with thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism is also available.

The capability of hybrid SPECT-CT imaging has dramatically increased the sensitivity and specificity of nuclear medicine imaging.  Such studies should be so requested by the referring physician for the patient to benefit from frequently significant diagnosis changing information provided by SPECT-CT.

Gastrointestinal

  • HIDA SCAN (Hepatobiliary Scan)
    • Description:  Dynamic study which assesses the gallbladder’s function.
    • Indications: acute cholecystitis, chronic cholecystitis, bile duct obstruction,    biliary extravasation, biliary atresia, liver transplant evaluation, vague gallbladder (ejection fraction calculation).
    • Duration: Minimum of 2 hours
    • Preparation: Fast 4-5 hours before the study. IV will be started in order to administer the radioactive material and the drug (CCK) for the second part of the study.

Pulmonary

  • Lung Ventilation
    • Description: Study which detects pulmonary embolism.
    • Indications: Regional ventilation evaluation.
    • Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
    • Preparation: None required.
  • Lung Perfusion
    • Description: Study which detects pulmonary embolism. Proceeds the Lung Ventilation Study
    • Indications: Possible Pulmonary embolism
    • Duration: 30 a 45 minutes
    • Preparation: None required.

Musculoskeletal

  • Bone Scan
  • Three Phase Bone Scan
  • Bone SPECT-CT
    • Description: Study which detects bone fractures, metastases and osteomyelitis.
    • Indications: Arthritis, primary tumors, metastases, fractures not identified in radiology.
    • Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
    • Preparation: None required.

Infections or Tumors

  • Gallium Scan with SPECT-CT
    • Description: Study where inflammation or tumors are detected.
    • Indications: Infections, inflammation or tumors.
    • Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
    • Preparation: None required.
    • This study has been largely replaced by the more sensitive and specific hybrid PET-CT scan
  • White Cells Marker
    • Description: Study performed after a Bone Scan for the evaluation of an infectious process, such as osteomyelitis.
    • Indications: Infections, inflammations and fevers of unknown origin.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Preparation: Fast 4 to 5 hours prior to study.

Renal

  • Renal Scan, Renal Flow, Renogram
    • Description: Dynamic study which assesses the function of the kidneys and the tracer’s excretion through the renal collecting system.
    • Indications: Kidney failure, renal hypertension, kidney transplant, renal obstruction, tubular function and tubular secretion.
    • Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
    • Preparation: Being hydrated before and during the study.

Cardiac

  • MUGA Scan
    • Description: Study which assesses the ventricular walls of the heart in motion, quantifying the fraction of ventricular performance.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Preparation: None required.
  • Myocardial Perfusion SPECT (MPI), Sestamibi Scan, Thallium Scan
    • Description: Study which assesses heart function.
    • Indications: Possible cardiac ischemia or infarction.
    • Duration: Half a day.
    • Preparation: Fast 4 to 5 hours prior to study. No tomar café, refresco, chocolate ni te 12 horas antes del estudio.
  • Viability Scan
    • Description: Study which assesses the viability of the heart.
    • Indications: Infarct within the heart walls.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Preparation: Fast 4 to 5 hours prior to study.

Neuro/Brain

  • Brain SPECT
    • Description: Study which assesses the brain.
    • Indications: Neurodegenerative dementia and epilepsy.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Preparation: None required.

Endocrine

  • Thyroid Scan
    • Description: Study which assesses the thyroid gland.
    • Indications: Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, detect nodules, chronic thyroiditis, Hashimoto, hyperfunctional adenoma, thyroid cancer and evaluation of ectopic thyroid tissue.
    • Duration: 30 minutes
    • Preparation: A week prior to the study, stop taking all thyroid medications.
  • Parathyroid SPECT-CT Scan
    • Description: Study which assesses the parathyroid gland.
    • Indications: Detect parathyroid adenomas.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Preparation: None required.
  • Salivary Gland
    • Description: Study which assesses the salivary glands.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Preparation: Fast 4 to 5 hours prior to study.
  • Scintimammography
    • Description: Study which assesses breast lesions in women.
    • Indications: Breast Cancer.
    • Duration: 4 hours
    • Preparation: None required.