Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases and other abnormalities within the body. At St. Joseph Hospital, our physicians use nuclear medicine to visualize the structure and function of an organ, tissue, bone or system of the body.

Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, a radiotracer is either injected into a vein, swallowed or inhaled as a gas and eventually accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays.

Devices such as gamma cameras and positron emission tomography, or PET scanners, work together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues.

The Nuclear Medicine department and equipment at St. Joseph Hospital is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.

PET uses tiny amounts of a radioactive tracer to help show changes in cellular activity that can signal the severity and location of disease. PET imaging can show these changes long before they may appear on a CT, MRI or X-ray.

St. Joseph Hospital was the first in the greater Nashua area with PET scan capabilities. The PET scan department and equipment at St. Joseph Hospital has achieved American College of Radiology Accreditation.