Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital offers the latest in nuclear medicine technology to diagnose disease earlier and more accurately. A skilled team of radiologists uses the Philips/ADAC SKYLight™, the first of its kind, to help identify abnormalities very early in the progression of disease, allowing for a better prognosis.
Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology, which uses small amounts of radioactive materials to examine organ function and structure. Nuclear imaging evaluates how the heart, for example, functions - the adequacy of the blood supply to the heart or how much damage has been done by a heart attack.
Nuclear medicine procedures are painless and do not require anesthesia. Patients are given a radioactive substance called a radioisotope either orally or by injection. The absorption process lasts anywhere from two to four hours. The level of radiation in the medication is very low and not harmful to the patient, the amount used is comparable to that received during an X-ray.
Depending on the type of scan, the patient is scanned immediately or once the medication is fully absorbed.
Nearly 100 nuclear medicine imaging procedures are used to diagnose a variety of ailments including stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and blood cell disorders; evaluate gallbladder, thyroid and heart function; and measure the effectiveness of bypass surgery, extent of tumors, etc. Children often undergo nuclear medicine procedures to evaluate bone pain, injuries, infection, kidney and bladder function.
Nuclear medicine also evaluates a number of diseases and disorders including:
Nuclear imaging tests are performed using the Philips/ADAC SKYLight™ nuclear medicine imaging machine, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the fall of 2001. The first of its kind, the SKYLight™ allows radiologists to gather information that may otherwise require surgery or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests.
The SKYLight™ is operated by a hand-held remote and is driven by five computers, allowing the head of the camera to rotate without the patient having to change positions. After the test is completed, the diagnosis is verified or eliminated.
The SKYLight™ offers the latest in advanced robotics, which provide increased imaging flexibility and positioning accuracy. The open design of the machine allows for easy patient access and comfort, including the pediatric, critically ill or claustrophobic patient.