Skip to Document Content

Nuclear Medicine

The Imaging Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital provides the most advanced imaging services to obtain the highest quality tests for your child. Caring for children of all ages from fetal life to young adulthood, our team combines specialty expertise with a focus on each child’s individual needs to ensure the most accurate diagnostics.

Nuclear medicine refers to a small amount of radioactive material (radioisotope) that is combined with medicine (pharmaceutical) to form a radiopharmaceutical. Sometimes it is also called a tracer. The tracer is designed to travel to a particular organ or area of the body so it can be seen by our camera. This technology allows early diagnosis and monitoring of disease and can often make invasive procedures unnecessary. It also complements information obtained from X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasounds (US), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Safety wise, most radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine studies give less radiation exposure than a day at the beach. At Cardinal Glennon, we offer the full range of nuclear medicine procedures, including:

  • Brain Scan
  • Bone Scan
  • Hepatobiliary Scan
  • DMSA Scan
  • Differential Renal Scan
  • Gallium Scan
  • Gastric Emptying Exam
  • I-123 MIBG Scan
  • GFR Blood Test
  • Meckels Scan
  • MUGA Scan
  • SPECT Imaging
  • Thyroid Uptake and Scan

Why Choose Us

  • With a focus on safety, we carefully calibrate each exam to suit your child’s age, size, symptoms, and condition.
  • We use the most advanced PET/CT Scanner, MRI and X-Ray equipment producing the highest quality images with the lowest dose of radiation and quickest scan times.
  • We ensure your child’s procedure uses the least amounts of radiation to obtain the most accurate diagnostics and treatment.
  • Our nuclear medical physicians have years of experience, giving every case personalized attention.
  • We also offer non-stop support in a caring environment, helping you stress less and get the information needed to take the next steps.

What Should I do Prior to the Exam?

If your child’s doctor has ordered this type of exam, we will guide you every step of the process. We have more info for you (below) to help you prepare your child. Our Child Life Specialists are also available to assist you and ensure a successful outcome.

Depending on the type of nuclear medicine scan, there are different preparations required. Sedation[CL1]  is recommended for all children under 5 years of age, however, we will evaluate each child individually to determine the appropriate requirement.

What Should I Expect During the Exam?

  • One of our technologist will escort your child into the scan room and position your child on the Nuclear Medicine table according to the body part being examined. The technologist will then ask your child to hold very still during the scan.
  • The scan can takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Your child may be in the room longer while the images are checked for quality, or if additional images are needed.
  • The images are displayed on a computer screen and are sent to the Nuclear Medicine Physician to be reviewed.
  • Our Child Life Specialist will be able to answer your questions about preparing and supporting your child during the procedure and can to assist your child with explanation and distraction toys if needed.

What Should I do After the Exam?

If your child received sedation, you can meet your child in the recovery area as they awake slowly from the sedation.

Test Results

Our SLUCare Physician Group radiologists will review the images, interpret any findings, and send the results to your child’s doctor. It may take several days for the physician to review the findings and images and make clinical decisions on the next step for your child’s medical care.

At SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, we look forward to caring for your child. With an experienced staff and state-of-the-art imaging technology, you can count on us to deliver the excellent care your child needs. To schedule your appointment today, please call 314-577-5652.

Select Location