UR Medicine Nuclear Medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases using radiopharmaceuticals. Our faculty and staff provide comprehensive clinical services, residency education, and research. Routine examinations and services provided include thyroid uptake and radiotherapy, bone scans, functional renal assays, gastric emptying, ventilation-perfusion scans, prostascintigraphy, tagged red cell scans, and PET-CT among others. Nuclear cardiac imaging is performed and interpreted in collaboration with UR Medicine's Department of Cardiology.
Our primary facilities are located on the first and ground floors of Strong Memorial Hospital. Within this space are offices for staff and residents, imaging and patient examining, injection rooms, radiopharmacy preparation, quality control and dispensing laboratories, conference and reading room, staff lounge as well as patient waiting rooms. We have four SPECT cameras and two additional gamma cameras for planar and portable imaging plus thyroid uptake probes.
UR Medicine's Department of Imaging has recently opened a state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar PET-CT imaging facility and cyclotron—the only such center in upstate New York. PET is a powerful imaging modality used to non-invasively assess cellular metabolic function. PET is primarily used for the diagnosis, staging, and restaging of specific cancers; pre-surgical assessment of some patients with epilepsy; Alzheimer’s evaluation; and limited cardiovascular applications. In addition to patient services, the PET-CT scanner is actively utilized for clinical research.
The most common nuclear medicine studies include:
- Bone Scan: This is a functional test which visually detects bone abnormalities by measuring an aspect of bone metabolism. You will receive an injection, experience a 2–3 hour waiting period, then undergo the examination.
- Gastric Emptying: During this test you will eat food containing a radioisotope which will be detected on a scan. The dosage of radiation from the radioisotope is very small and not harmful, and allows the radiologist to see the food in the stomach and how quickly it leaves the stomach.
- HIDA (Hepatobiliary): This study assesses the liver, gallbladder and biliary function. It is commonly used to diagnose abnormal gallbladder function and examines the ducts leading into and out of the gallbladder. You may receive a morphine injection. If so, you will need to arrange for transportation from your appointment.