Introduction to Nuclear Medicine

The Department of Nuclear Medicine at Jupiter Hospital has started state-of- the art PET/CT services for the benefit of patients. It is the first hospital in the district of Thane to offer this advanced diagnostic imaging modality at optimum costs.

PET/CT stands for Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography. A PET/CT scan involves integration of CT scan and PET scan acquired sequentially on the same machine. A small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into the vein of the patient. The patient is then asked to sit quietly in post injection waiting room for 45 mins, after which patient is asked to lie down on scanner bed. A CT scan is acquired first followed by PET scan in the same position. The imaging time is about 15-20mins.

The PET data provides metabolic information about the biological processes in the body while CT component provides the anatomical data that helps in localization and characterization of lesions. The natural history of disease processes involves initial changes at the cellular level which are appreciated morphologically at a later stage.  Thus, by providing a map of biological processes at molecular level, PET can detect disease at a much earlier stage and help in initiating appropriate and timely treatment.

F18 Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is the most commonly used radiopharmaceutical. Other commonly used PET radiopharmaceutical is F18 Sodium Fluoride (NaF) used for imaging skeletal system.

A FDG PET/CT scan is most commonly used in oncology for determining the extent of disease (staging), assessing response to therapy, detecting recurrence of disease post treatment (restaging), and identifying likely site of primary malignancy, guiding the site of biopsy and in radiotherapy planning.

Besides oncology, FDG PET/CT scan is used in cardiology to assess the perfusion of the myocardium, assess myocardial viability post infarction and in neurology for assessment of seizure focus in epilepsy, in memory disorders etc.