We are a vibrant, innovative section within the Department of Radiology whose mission is to provide state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic patient studies, further clinical and basic science nuclear and molecular research, and serve as an important educational resource both within the University and community at large.
The Section is proud to offer the full spectrum of general nuclear, cardiac, and molecular imaging exams, from the standard bone and thyroid imaging to the harder to find, such as red cell mass and GFR calculations to all standard and several novel molecular radiotherapies. We also offer a wide variety of pediatric studies, which are supervised by a pediatric-trained staff, and specialize in pediatric renal and tumor imaging and therapy.
We are also leaders in the detection and treatment of two underdiagnosed but not uncommon cardiac diseases, cardiac sarcoid and cardiac amyloidosis. We have developed specialized protocols for both diagnostic and post-therapy imaging, and we are proud to be leading the way for treating these disorders.
Our state-of-the-art PET Center was the first permanent PET/CT center in the Chicagoland area. Since its inception, we have been at the forefront of neurologic, cardiac, and whole body oncologic PET/CT. As the only center in the region with its own medical cyclotron, the Section of Nuclear Medicine has unparalleled access to a host of novel tracers for both our clinical and research programs. Our high-resolution PET/CT camera has been offering the latest in clinical and research imaging for years. Standard PET tracers such as FDG are of course commonly utilized but we have been amongst the first centers to offer imaging of more specialized tracers such as for prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumors, and Alzheimer’s Dementia.
We are comprised of three separate facilities within the hospital; each features state-of-the-art equipment and has its own hot lab. In the first level of Mitchell hospital, general adult and pediatric nuclear medicine has recently undergone a complete renovation and now operates four gamma cameras and one gamma probe. Included are two SPECT/CT cameras which allow for hybrid molecular- anatomic imaging of a number of radio-tracers for more accurate diagnoses.
The cardiac nuclear section, located on the 5th floor of the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM), boasts two double-headed SPECT cameras for cardiac perfusion and MUGA imaging in the evaluation of coronary artery disease and heart failure.
The section continues to build upon its rich tradition of nuclear and molecular imaging research, ranging from the basic science to the more clinically oriented. We are actively involved with a number of oncology PET/CT clinical trials to monitor responses to therapy of many cancers including breast, colorectal, lymphoma, and renal cell. Grant-funded projects include the NIH-funded study to look at the relationship between reduced sleep and obesity with brain PET and a project to study the effects of diabetes on liver glucose metabolism with whole-body PET. The section is also actively involved with evaluating novel computer aided diagnoses (CAD) in nuclear medicine and PET including temporal subtraction in bone scintigraphy and artificial neural networks in PET interpretation. In summary, we are quite proud of our rich history and current unparalleled capabilities in nuclear medicine, and are excited to continue to lead the field into the future.
The section oversees the nuclear medicine training for our large radiology residency program as well as for members of our graduate program in medical physics. We also provide the necessary training in safe handling and utilization of radioactive materials for our residents as well as other residents across the institution (including rad oncology and endocrinology) in order to become authorized users on a RAM license. Our faculty has internationally renowned educators and highly sought-after lecturers who have authored several comprehensive textbooks in the field.