Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT scanners are improving the ability to image and analyze actual organ function, bone trauma and disease within the body.
By fusing the technologies of a traditional CT scanner and SPECT imaging, nuclear medicine specialists and radiologists can localize exactly where the disease or trauma is in the body.
Common candidates for SPECT/CT scanning are patients who are having pain or trouble with a joint replacement, patients who have developed complications due to neuropathies (damage to the nerves), patients with parathyroid issues or patients who have certain cardiovascular issues, such as chest pain or strong family history of heart disease.
The SPECT/CT scanner is also helpful in retrieving clearer images through extra tissue, such as breast tissue and in obese patients. SPECT/CT images are used in conjunction with traditional CT scans to improve diagnostic accuracy.
Not only does the device help improve diagnostic accuracy, it also reduces duration of scan time, as well as the need for additional imaging if a patient needs surgery and/or other treatment moving forward.
Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health network offers this advanced imaging option, and has one of very few SPECT/CT scanners in the region, at the Nuclear Medicine Department at Alamance Regional Medical Center.
Kelly Martin is a certified nuclear medicine technologist at the Nuclear Medicine Department at Alamance Regional Medical Center.
Martin received a Bachelor of Science in paper science engineering from North Carolina State University in 2003 and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Nuclear Medicine Program in 2008.