Nuclear medicine is a type of Radiology Imaging that evaluates anatomy and function of body parts. The patient is given a radioactive substance, either by injection or orally. Images are created from the detection of radioactive energy that is emitted following the administration of the material.
Nuclear Medicine scans are performed on various organs such as the kidneys (for function), heart (flow and function), lungs (respiratory and blood flow issues), gallbladder (for blockage), bones (for fracture, tumor, infection, etc.), and many other clinical indications. The West Tennessee Imaging Center has an "open" Nuclear Medicine camera allowing for increased patient comfort.
Positron emission tomography, also known as PET imaging, is a diagnostic imaging test where images are aquired by detecting radiation from the emissions of "positrons." A positron is a tiny particle that comes from a radioactive substance injected into the patient. PET measures metabolism (as compared to MRI and CT which can only image a body structure) and is often particularly useful in differentiating benign versus malignant tumors. PET is often used in conjunction with CT in a process called "Fusion" which creates a three-dimensional view of an organ and tumors that may be present.
PET and PET/CT are commonly being used for:
- Alzheimers, Parkinson's, epilepsy patients
- Cardiovascular disease
- Tumor analysis, differentiation, and treatment plans
- Cancer detection
CT scanning—sometimes called CAT scanning—is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams.
Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
X-ray is the traditional imaging modality used to evaluate the skeletal system and other body parts. X-ray is useful for imaging all types and all ages of bony structures. Examples of bone x-rays include: hand, wrist, skull, spine, clavicle, ribs, shoulder, arm, hips, legs, knee, and feet. X-ray is also extremely helpful in evaluating soft tissues such as the small bowel, large bowel, esophagus, stomach as well as other organ systems such as the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.
The Radiographer (x-ray tech) will position your body/body part on an imaging plate. An x-ray tube will be positioned over the body part. You may be asked to hold your breath and/or remain still.
Ultrasound, also called Sonography, is a Radiology imaging technique that uses sound waves and a computer to produce images of body parts. Ultrasound requires no radiation and is routinely used to look at soft tissues such as liver, kidneys, pancreas, vessels, thyroid, breast, testicles, neonatal and of course, babies in utero.
Gel is applied to the skin and a transducer (hand held imaging device) glides over the skin. The Sonographer may ask that you roll on your side or hold your breath during the exam in order to get the best possible images.
Pediatric Radiology Services
We provide an array of pediatric services including Plain Films, Fluroscopy, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, PET, and VIR.
Sonography of the pediatric hip is performed to rule out dysplasia or improper functioning of the hip joints.
Neonatal Cranial Sonography
This is a non-invasive, gentle technique used to image the delicate brain of a newborn with soundwaves. No radiation is used. A small amount of gel is placed on the fontanelle (soft spot) of the newborn as a transducer (ultrasound hand-held imaging device) is carefully laid on the skin. The procedure is commonly used to rule out cranial hemorrhage (bleeding of the brain), hydrocephaly (excess fluid in the brain), and other anatomical abnormalities in the neonate.
Pyloric Stenosis Study
Sonography is used to evaluate the thickness of the pylorum or the muscle of the proximal stomach. This non-invasive gentle technique can help identify anatomical abnormalities in pediatric patients with suspected thriving disorders.
Sonography of the neonatal/pediatric spine is performed to evaluate the termination location of the spine and/or to rule out anatomical abnormalities, tumors.
Voiding Cystourtherogram (VCU)
A VCU is a study of the urethra and it's function. Under x-ray guidance, contrast media is given to the child with subsequent voiding films taken.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
What is an MRI?
A MRI is a radiology imaging technique that utilizes magnets, radio waves, and computers to construct images of the body. The MRI machine (known as a scanner) is a tube that is surrounded by magnets.
As a patient, you will wear a hospital gown, be asked to remove all metal from your person, and will lie on a movable bed. The bed will move you into the circular opening where the imaging will begin. A speaker and microphone is located in the MRI scanner where you will be in communication with the MRI Technologist. For some procedures, contrast agents (injections) are used to increase the accuracy of the images.
Why are MRI scans performed?
An MRI scan provides extremely detailed information about a patient's anatomy and possible diseases. MRI can be performed on various body parts including the head, spine, chest, abdomen, extremities, and vasculature.