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MEDICAL IMAGING DEPARTMENT
(815) 489-4760


MEDICAL IMAGING

Nuclear Medicine & PET Scanning

This imaging method involves a nuclear medicine Technologist introducing a small amount of a radioactive substance (a radiopharmaceutical) into the patient's body — by injection, swallowing or inhalation. Once inside the body, the radiopharmaceutical concentrates in the area the physician wants to see, and gives off a form of invisible, penetrating light called gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is very similar to X-rays, but comes from the radiopharmaceutical inside the patient's body and passes outward from the organs of interest. In nuclear medicine, a special device called a gamma camera detects the radiation coming out of the patient's body and sends this information to a computer. The computer reconstructs the information into an image of the patient's body and displays it on the screen for the radiologist to view. Although nuclear medicine involves radioactivity, the amount of radiation exposure that a patient receives in nuclear medicine is comparable or often less than that received in radiography or CT. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a specialized type of nuclear medicine procedure, often done to evaluate the whole body rather than only a particular part or organ.

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SwedishAmerican Health System
1401 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104
(815) 968-4400
patientfeedback@swedishamerican.org

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