General Information About Molecular Imaging
Molecular imaging (also called Nuclear Medicine) uses very small amounts of radioactive materials to examine organ function and structure and is often used to help diagnose and treat abnormalities very early in the progression of a disease.
Molecular imaging is a combination of several disciplines, including chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology and medicine. This branch of radiology is often used to help diagnose and treat abnormalities very early in the progression of a disease. Molecular imaging differs in some ways from other forms of radiology in that these imaging studies examine organ function and structure, whereas diagnostic radiology is based primarily on anatomy. Molecular imaging studies assist the radiologist in diagnosing diseases. Tumors, infection and other disorders can be detected by evaluating organ function. SPR physicians interpret many molecular imaging studies, typically performed in area hospitals served.
All of St. Paul Radiology’s molecular imaging radiologists are board certified and have undergone fellowship training in interpreting nuclear medicine images.
The diagnostic capabilities of molecular imaging include:
- Analyze kidney function
- Image perfusion and function of the heart & localize ischemia and infarction
- Screen lungs for respiratory and perfusion problems
- Evaluate function of the gallbladder and liver
- Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis or tumor
- Determine the presence or spread of most cancers
- Identify bleeding into the bowel
- Locate the presence of infection
- Evaluate thyroid function in hypo or hyper thyroid patient and thyroid nodules
- Cardiac viability in advanced coronary artery disease