A brief overview of Cleveland Clinic's Department of Nuclear Medicine, virtual tour and Nuclear Medicine's reading room.
Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Nuclear Medicine has expanded with a move into the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Pavilion. This move triples the department’s size and enhances its capabilities to deliver the best patient care possible.
The department has 12 cameras - three PET/CT scanners, three SPECT/CT scanners and six traditional gamma cameras. In addition to these capabilities, our mobile PET/CT system brings main campus capabilities to Cleveland Clinic community hospitals. Our unique expertise and unsurpassed technology are available to help care for patients, from offering the earliest possible diagnosis to helping assess and manage treatment plans.
Our subspecialty expertise coupled with leading-edge technology bring our Department of Nuclear Medicine to a new level.
The Department of Nuclear Medicine utilizes radioactive materials to diagnose the presence of disease in the body and to treat multiple types of cancer as well as conditions such as Graves’ disease.
Nuclear Medicine’s advanced imaging capabilities can identify changes in organ function. SPECT and PET are performed at the main campus and at selected Cleveland Clinic-affiliated hospitals. Hybrid SPECT/CT and PET/CT fusion imaging also is performed on specialized scanners that directly map the abnormal tissue physiology depicted on the nuclear images to the affected anatomic area displayed on the high-resolution CT images.
The department possesses an unusual depth of expertise, with Nuclear Medicine physicians, radiochemists and a physicist. Physicians are board-certified and clinically experienced in a broad array of specialties, including cardiology, neurology and radiology.
Nuclear Medicine’s Center for PET and Molecular Imaging (CPMI) recognizes that many cancer patients undergoing a PET scan have already had a CT scan; in the past, these scans were presented to the referring physician as separate reports. Through CPMI, however, these studies are performed and interpreted together by a team of cross-trained specialists, resulting in one integrated report for the referring physician that contains a cohesive assessment of the patient’s overall condition.
Patient therapy is a significant component of Nuclear Medicine. Treatments, and sometimes pain relief, are offered for conditions such as Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, cancer that has spread to the bone and refractory lymphomas. PET/CT scans also assist radiation oncologists in planning treatment with external sources of radiation.
- Bone: Bone cancer spread or identifying causes of pain
- Brain: Epilepsy, Tumors, Stroke/blood vessel narrowing
- Breast Cancer
- Cancer: All Organs
- Heart: Ischemia, Heart Muscle Viability, Ejection Fraction
- Infection and Inflammation: Osteomyelitis, Abscess
- Kidneys: Obstruction from stones or congenital, Renal Failure
- Liver/Gall Bladder: Abdominal Pain, Function of liver, gallbladder
- Lungs: Blood flow obstruction and/or airway obstruction
- Parathyroid: High Calcium Production
- Pediatric Imaging: Ureter Obstruction, Gastric Emptying and Reflux, Oncology
- Stomach: Gastric Motility, Reflux
- Thyroid: Hyperthyroidism, Goiter or Cancer
- Thyroid: Hyperthyroidism and Cancer
- Bone: Pain Palliation in Cancer Patients
Nuclear Medicine staff shares a strong commitment to education, expressed through training of radiology residents and cardiology fellows.
The Nuclear Medicine staff is active in the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Radiology.
The Department of Nuclear Medicine participates in a number of national multi-center research studies and is part of National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) data collection.
Research focuses on the development of advanced instrumentation, cancer detection and non-invasive measurement of regional organ blood flow. At the cyclotron facilities, work continues on the development of novel radiotracers. The CPMI is participating in industry-sponsored clinical trials to evaluate new radiotracers.
The department is also involved in American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) trials in conjunction with radiation oncology. Below are current department research activities:
- Clinical quantitative myocardial perfusion imaging using PET tracers such as Rb-82 and [N-13] ammonia.
This is a series of myocardial perfusion experiments quantifying coronary artery perfusion with Rb-82 chloride, a PET perfusion tracer (Richard Brunken, MD & Frank Difilippo, PhD).
- Ongoing multicenter trial to evaluate the novel imaging agent I-124 G250 antibody.
This is a positron emitting antibody for imaging patients with renal cell carcinoma (Shyam Srinivas, MD).
- Novel sensitive and specific method of parathyroid imaging using CT, I-123 and Tc99m sestamibi.
Findings were published in the 12/08 issue of Journal of Nuclear Medicine (Donald Neumann, MD, PhD).
- Collaborating with the pulmonary department to develop methods to image hypoxia in adults with asthma (Donald Neumann, MD, PhD & Frank Difilippo, PhD).
- Collaborating with the pulmonary department in a multi-institutional trial to create images of primary pulmonary hypertension using FDG-PET (Donald Neumann, MD, PhD & Frank Difilippo, PhD).
- Nuclear imaging of the brain.
This primarily focuses on localizing epileptic foci for patients with seizure using FDG-PET and SPECT imaging. Developing novel PET imaging protocols to differentiate radiation necrosis and tumor recurrence in patients that underwent radiation treatment for brain tumor (Guiyun Wu, MD).
- Clinical SPECT/CT and PET/CT imaging for assessment of treatment response for patients with cancer.
Presentations of these findings have been made at the national meetings of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, American College of Nuclear Physician and Radiological Society of North America (Sankaran Shrikanthan, MD).
- Multiple collaborative research efforts within, and outside of the department, to develop a unique high resolution animal imaging SPECT/CT system that can achieve 1mm resolution when imaging Tc99m tracer activity in mice (Frank Difilippo, PhD).
- Engineering a peptide based molecular platform coupled to a high throughput screening system that will enable efficient search for lead polypeptide compounds against tumor targets.
Screening for compounds binding to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 2 (VEGFR2) which is a major factor in tumor angiogenesis (Steve Shih Lin Huang, MD, PhD).