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SJHH / Health Services/ Diagnostic Services/ Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Nuclear Medicine involves the use of small amounts of radioactive materials, often called “tracers”, to help diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. Nuclear Medicine helps to determine the cause of the medical problem based on the function of a tissue, organ, or system. Nuclear Medicine tests are safe and painless. In a Nuclear Medicine test, the radioactive material is introduced into the body by injection, ingestion, or inhalation.

All patients are referred through their family doctor or through a specialist that they may be seeing.

We recommend that you arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment.  You must bring your current health card and any paperwork provided to you from the physician who referred you.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is the area of medicine that uses radioactive materials to diagnosis and treat diseases. The care team in the Nuclear Medicine Department is comprised of Nuclear Medicine Physicians, Technologists and Nurses.

Please click here to view a list of tests, why they are ordered by the physician, and the preparation required on behalf of the patient for each test.

We are located at:

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario  L8E 4A6
Marian Wing, Level 0
Tel: 905-522-1155 ext. 36095

Additional Resources:

Please see the following to download our medicine requisition form and view useful links for more information about our Nuclear Medicine program.

Nuclear Medicine Requisition

Intersocietal Accreditation Commission

Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Nuclear Cardiology

Nuclear Cardiology focuses on using small amounts of radioactive materials and non-invasive techniques to assess the health of a patient’s heart.

The care team in the Nuclear Cardiology Department is comprised of Nuclear Cardiology Physicians, Technologists and Nurses. We are located at:

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario L8E 4A6
Registration Site, EDS
Martha Wing, Level 0
Tel - 905-522-1155 ext. 36073

Please see the following instructions to prepare for your nuclear cardiology test:

  1. No breakfast the day of the test.  (Diabetic patients may have exceptions).
  2. No caffeine (no tea, coffee, sodas, including decaffeinated products, Tylenol, or chocolate) 24 hours prior to the test.
  3. Bring all current prescription medications in their original container to the appointment.
  4. Bring suitable/comfortable shoes and clothing for the stress test.
  5. The Nuclear Medicine Department will inform the patient regarding the discontinuation of any heart medications.
  6. The procedure consists of two parts.  The first portion lasts approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours, which is followed by the stress test.  Following the stress test, the patient can leave the department, but must return 30 minutes to 3 hours later for repeat imaging, which lasts approximately 30 minutes.

Resting and Exercise RNA (MUGA)

  1. Resting RNA:  Study time – 90 minutes.  No patient preparation.
  2. Exercise RNA:  Study time – 2 hours.  A detailed letter will be mailed to patient with additional instructions.

Perfusion Studies

A detailed letter will be mailed to the patient with additional instructions.

Additional Resources:

To learn more about Perfusion and RNA tests, please see the attached patient brochures and useful information links:

Nuclear Cardiology Brochure

Nuclear Cardiology - Perfusion Scan

Nuclear Cardiology - RNA Test

Nuclear Cardilogy Requisition

American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

Intersocietal Accreditation Commission

PET/CT

PET/CT scans aid in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of disease by studying the function of organs in the body.

Cardiac PET/CT is a non-invasive procedure that can identify areas of abnormal myocardial perfusion and determine the functional capacity of your heart muscle. This enables physicians to determine the severity of heart disease as well as what follow-up therapy or intervention is needed.

Oncology PET/CT imaging allows physicians to better detect where active tumors are located within the body by using a special glucose that targets tumors.  These scans not only show where tumors are, but they also show over time how successful a treatment is and whether there needs to be a change.

The care team in the PET/CT department is comprised of both, Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Cardiology Physicians, Technologists and Nurses. We are located at:

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario  L8E 4A6
Imaging Research Centre
Fontbonne Building
Level 0, Room F129
Tel: 905-522-1155 ext. 32746

Additional Resources

To learn more about Cardiac PET/CT and Whole Body (Oncology) PET/CT scans, please see the attached patient brochures.

Getting Ready for a Cardiac PET/CT Scan

Getting Ready for a PET/CT Scan

PET/CT Requisition

PETSCANS Ontario Website

Intersocietal Accreditation Commission