icon-molecularMolecular Imaging physicians use special equipment and techniques to view detailed pictures of what is happening in the body at a molecular or cellular level. This type of medical imaging, often referred to as Nuclear Medicine, is most often used to diagnose and manage the treatment of cancer, heart disease, degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and other disorders of the lungs, bones and kidneys.

The noninvasive and painless procedures used in molecular imaging allow our physicians to select the most effective treatment based on the unique characteristics of each individual patient. Other types of medical imaging—like X-Ray and CT—provide a lower level of specificity.

Most molecular imaging exams use a radiopharmaceutical—a substance that emits a small amount of x-rays (or gamma rays) from within the body.  Gamma rays are detected by special types of cameras called gamma cameras and PET scanners. All of the PET scanners and a few of our gamma cameras read by Radiology Associates are combined with CT scanners. This allows our doctors to view certain areas of the body more precisely and improves the specificity of our reports.

Exams read by our Molecular Imaging Specialists

  • PET Scan – Allows our doctors to localize cancerous conditions within the body and determine the patient’s response to a specific treatment plan.
  • PET/CT Scan – Combines the metabolic activity results of a PET Scan with the precise anatomical localization of a CT Scan. This allows our physicians to pinpoint the exact location of cancerous tumors within the body.
  • Nuclear Medicine –
    • Bone Scan – Used to identify areas of bone repair in the presence of injury, infection, or tumor.
    • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging – Determines the adequacy of blood flow to the heart, comparing levels of perfusion during periods of exercise and rest.
    • Brain Imaging – Used to identify and differentiate various dementias, Parkinsonism, or seizure foci.
    • Infection Imaging (Gallium, labeled white cells) – Used to confirm the presence of infection, or identify its source in patients with unexplained fever or sepsis.
    • Biliary Imaging – Allows our doctors to confirm the normal filling of the gallbladder, or identify its response to the physiologic challenges of a fatty meal.

Radiology Associates of North Texas has several dedicated molecular imaging specialists—which can’t be matched by most other groups. Our team of specially trained physicians is uniquely able to offer the most advanced techniques to provide our patients and referring physicians with reliable, accurate information.