Nuclear Medicine

At Eastern Maine Medical Center our staff realizes the importance of early detection. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are able to identify abnormalities very early in the progression of a disease, and often long before some medical problems are evident using other diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to diagnose and treat disease, such as Graves’ disease and certain cancers. These radiopharmaceuticals are introduced into the body through injection, swallowing, or inhalation. The radiopharmaceuticals are then attracted to specific organs, bones, or tissues and are detected by a special camera, which forms an image of the area in question. These images assist in diagnosis and treatment.

EMMC’s Nuclear Medicine department is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) and has highly trained nationally certified technologists who assist your provider with the nuclear medicine techniques that document both organ function and structure.

In February 2009, EMMC replaced one of its imaging cameras with a state-of-the-art Siemens system called the Symbia S. This new system features enhanced processing protocols and improve the clarity of the nuclear medicine images. It also features a table weight limit of 500 pounds aligning the Nuclear Medicine department with the mission of EMMC’s accredited bariatric program.

In 2003, EMMC opened Maine’s first full-time positron emission tomography (PET) center in Bangor. In 2009, we upgraded to a positron emission tomography computed tomography (PETCT) scanner.  This is located in the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer, our new home for state-of-the-art cancer treatment. We obtained accreditation of this unit in 2013 through the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission(IAC).  PET/CT imaging permits healthcare professionals to identify “abnormal cells” and view growing tumors at a cellular level. The technique is so sensitive that cancer can often be detected before there is actually a visible mass on an x-ray, CT, or MRI scan.