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Nuclear Medicine is a clinical specialty, with the application of radiopharmaceuticals in form of “unsealed radioactive source”, for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Nuclear Medicine imaging by gamma camera is unique in documenting functional and molecular abnormalities in diseases, even before anatomical or structural changes occur. It involves the administration of radiopharmaceutical which accumulates in the target organ or area of body being examined. Modern gamma camera incorporates a CT component for better lesion localization and is called a SPECT-CT scanner.

Apart from diagnostic imaging, administration of different radiopharmaceuticals can be used for treatment of diseases. Radioactive iodine (I-131) ablation is frequently performed for thyrotoxicosis and thyroid cancer.

Gamma Camera

PET-CT Scanner

 

Different nuclear medicine procedures require different preparations. The patient will be given an appointment sheet explaining the details of preparation for individual procedure. Imaging or treatment schedules are also diverse. They may last for a couple of minutes to a few hours. Some procedures may require separate sessions over a few days. Side effects of radiopharmaceuticals are very rare. The radiation dose to patient is often comparable to other imaging modalities.


Localization of the sentinel lymph node in a patient with breast cancer

State-of-the-art Cardiac Camera with Alcyone Technology

Stress and rest myocardial perfusion scintigraphy shows significantly reduced blood flow to heart muscle due to coronary artery disease

What is Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI)? Please click here for details.

PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography) is also a dual-modality imaging study combining metabolic and anatomical information. The PET scan demonstrates regional metabolic information which is usually altered in disease process, while the CT scan reveals the structure and location of lesion within the body. The combination of PET-CT images enables accurate diagnosis and localization of disease. PET-CT scan is a non-invasive procedure and generally patients do not suffer any imaging related discomfort.


Radiographer processing PET-CT images

Oncology

Diagnosis and staging of malignancy before treatment planning
Monitor therapy response and effectiveness
Surveillance of cancer recurrence

Cardiology

Assess myocardial viability

Neurology

Evaluate dementia, Parkinsonism, psychiatric disorders and epilepsy

Pyrexia of Unknown Origin (PUO)

Locate occult septic foci

The most commonly used radiopharmaceutical in PET scan is F18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). After intravenous FDG administration, the patient should take rest for an hour for the uptake of FDG before image acquisition. The imaging process normally can be completed within 30 minutes. Occasionally a delayed scan 2 hours after the initial scan is necessary.


PET-CT showing lung cancer with nodal metastasis

Fasting for at least 6 hours prior to the appointment, except small amount of water and medication
Blood glucose level should ideally be kept at 7.5mmol/L or below, diabetic patients may require special instructions
No Barium study for 10 days before PET-CT examination
Avoid exercise before PET-CT examination
Avoid close contact with pregnant women or children within 24 hours after the examination

Please refer to our General Hospital Charges for details.

Nuclear Medicine
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:00pm
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

PET-CT
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:00pm (On Request)
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

 

For enquiries and appointments, please contact us at:
Nuclear Medicine & PET Centre
Address
:
LG2/F, Block A, Hong Kong Baptist Hospital
Telephone
:
2339 7430
Fax
:
2337 1752
Email
:
nmpc@hkbh.org.hk

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