PET/CT and Nuclear Medicine Imaging

Full-body x-ray from a nuclear medicine imaging Oregon

Nuclear Medicine

What is Nuclear Medicine? 
Nuclear medicine imaging uses a radioisotope which is injected intravenously into the patient. A machine then uses a detector to take “images” for diagnostic examinations.
How is Nuclear Medicine performed? 
In a nuclear medicine procedure, a radioisotope is injected into a vein and circulates through the bloodstream. The type of radioisotope used depends on the system being evaluated. The patient usually then lies on a table surrounded with detectors on several sides for a period of time. The data is then used to create pictures of the body part under evaluation.
Examples of general nuclear medicine exams:

  • Bone scan
  • Hepatobiliary imaging
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Thyroid or parathyroid imaging
PET/CT scan from nuclear medicine imaging


What is a PET scan?
A PET/CT scan is a specific type of nuclear medicine scan. PET/CT scans are often used for the early detection of cancer, staging the extent of cancer, monitoring treatment, and evaluating patients with dementia.
How is a PET/CT scan performed?
A radionuclide combined with glucose is given intravenously. The patient lies on a table and images are taken using a combination of CT images and nuclear medicine detectors. This creates 2D and 3D images of the body.
PET/CT imaging is only performed at Meridian Park Medical Center.

Tualatin Imaging logo; PET/CT scan and Nuclear Medicine Imaging in Oregon
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