Stanford Children’s Health is home to state-of-the-art nuclear medicine equipment, and our nationally recognized experts use this technology to help determine the best treatment plan for your child. Nuclear medicine, which uses small amounts of radiation for diagnostic purposes and larger amounts for therapy, is a powerful tool in diagnosing and treating a wide array of conditions in children. These include cancer, sports injuries, congenital heart disease and more.
Working together with radiology, which uses technologies such as magnetic fields and x-rays to see our body’s internal structures, we evaluate both the form and function of your child’s organs and tissues. Our experts then can work closely with your doctor’s care team to develop the most effective treatment plan possible. In some cases, radiopharmaceuticals, or ingestible radioactive medicine, can also be used for treatment.
Our nuclear medicine program pioneered the use of PET/MRI instead of PET/CT scans in pediatrics, minimizing our patients’ exposure to radiation, eliminating the need for separate appointments, and providing more accurate diagnoses and treatment options. PET/MRI combines positron emission tomography (PET), which uses an injection of a small amount of radioactive medicine to reveal how the body’s cells work, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses a magnetic field to produce very detailed images of the body’s organs and other structures.
We also provide SPECT/CT imaging, which uses a small amount of radiation to see the function of the organ or tissue as it relates to the patient’s anatomy. This also limits the number of tests and visits our patients must undergo and reduces their time under anesthesia.
To refer a patient to Nuclear Medicine at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, please download our referral form or call us at (650) 497-8376