Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine services offered in Cambridge, MA

Nuclear medicine uses tiny amounts of radioactive substances to diagnose and treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Schatzki Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has a team of nuclear medicine experts providing consultations to physicians and patients. They aim to provide the highest quality patient care using both well-established and newly approved radiopharmaceuticals for imaging and therapy. Call Schatzki Associates today to learn more about cutting-edge nuclear medicine.

What is nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine involves using radioactive materials to diagnose, treat, and manage numerous diseases.

Nuclear medicine tests combine a small quantity of radioactive material with a carrier molecule, creating a radiotracer compound. The radiotracer builds up in specific areas, such as inflamed tissues or cancerous growths. Radiotracers also bind to particular proteins.

F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), which is similar to glucose (sugar), is the most common radiotracer, but there are many others. Active cancer cells require more energy than healthy cells, so they absorb more glucose. Your doctor uses an imaging device to locate energy given off by FDG, then creates pictures showing the radiotracer’s location in your body.

Your doctor may inject the radiotracer into your bloodstream or ask you to swallow it or inhale it as a gas.

What is nuclear medicine used for?

The Schatzki Associates team uses nuclear medicine for numerous purposes, including:

  • Cancer staging
  • Treatment response monitoring
  • Cognitive impairment evaluation
  • Thyroid imaging for benign thyroid disease
  • Surveillance imaging after thyroid cancer treatment
  • Parathyroid imaging
  • Heart function evaluation
  • Pulmonary embolism diagnosis
  • Acute gastrointestinal bleeding evaluation
  • Acute and chronic cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation) assessment
  • Gastric emptying studies
  • Renal obstruction scans
  • Bone disease and injury scans
  • Evaluating possible orthopedic hardware infections

The team also provides molecular therapies. These include high and low-dose I-131 hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer treatment and Ra-233 (Xofigo) treatment for painful osseous prostate metastases (tumors in the bones that have spread from prostate cancer masses) that are resistant to hormonal therapy.

What nuclear medicine procedures might I need?

Common nuclear medicine procedures the Schatzki Associates team performs include:

  • Hepatobiliary studies
  • Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET CT)
  • Myocardial perfusion imaging
  • Gated blood pool imaging
  • Ventilation and perfusion imaging
  • Tagged red blood cell (RBC) scan
  • Lasix renal scan
  • Labeled white blood cell (WBC) scan
  • Bone scan
  • Low-dose CT screening
  • Brain FDG-PET imaging
  • Dopamine active transporter (DaT) imaging
  • Peptide receptor imaging
  • Brain perfusion studies

The team may use a gamma camera to locate the radiotracer energy from your body and produce an image. Other ways of detecting the radiotracer include single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), or image fusion technologies that combine CT or MRI with nuclear medicine images.

Call Schatzki Associates to learn more about benefiting from nuclear medicine.