Molecular (Nuclear) Medicine Exams
Molecular Medicine uses a small amount of radioactive materials to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. Differing from an X-ray, which demonstrates anatomy or structure, Molecular Medicine provides information on how parts of the body function. The radioactive material is administered by IV injection, inhalation and/or by mouth. The radioactive material is attracted to specific organs, bones or tissues in the body. Special cameras are used to detect the location of the radioactive material.
Molecular Medicine is safe and painless. Reactions to the radioactive material are rare. However, prior to the administration of any radioactive material, it is important to know and tell your physician and the Nuclear Medicine Technologist if you are pregnant or nursing. Special precautions or a delay in performing your procedure may be necessary. The most common procedures are described below.
UnityPoint Health - Meriter has the latest technology in SPECT/CT, which combines functional information of molecular medicine and anatomical information from CT (computerized tomography).
Heart Perfusion Scan with Stress Test
A Heart Perfusion scan is performed to evaluate narrowing (atherosclerosis) of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.
Hepatobiliary With or Without Ejection Fraction
This procedure is done to evaluate the function of the liver, biliary tree, gallbladder, and bile ducts for possible obstruction. It may also be used to evaluate contraction of the gallbladder, which if abnormal may justify surgical removal.
Bone Scan - Whole Body or Three Phase
This procedure is done to obtain functional images of your bone and joint structure. It is generally performed to evaluate skeletal pain, possible tumor or bone infections.
Thyroid Uptake and Scan
This procedure images the structure and measures the function of your thyroid gland. The images will determine if the thyroid is homogeneous or if it has nodules within the gland. The function or uptake portion of the procedure will determine if your thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroid), normal (euthyroide) or underactive (hypothyroid). It is a two day test.