Nuclear Medicine

The Nuclear Medicine Department of AGH-Dammam provides studies / imaging for patients of all ages with suspected or diagnosed cases of: bone lesions, atrophic kidneys & PUJ obstruction, Thyroid and parathyroid diseases, endocrine and paraendocrine tumors, ischaemic heart disease, pulmonary embilisation, neonatal hepatitis, biliary obstruction, gastro–esophageal reflux, Mickel’s diverticulum, gastrointestinal blood loss, testicular torsion, brain tumor, CSF leaks, lymphoma, breast tumor, sentinel node, pancreatic and neuroendocrine tumors, obstructed tear duct, etc.

The Department also provides treatment and follow-up of patient with thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism and differentiated thyroid cancer.

Range of Conditions and Diagnoses Treated:

Nuclear medicine images assist the physician in diagnosing diseases, Tumors, infection and other disorders can be detected by evaluating organ function. Specially, nuclear medicine can be used to:

  • Analyze kidney function
  • Image blood flow and function of the heart
  • Scan lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems
  • Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis or tumor
  • Determine the presence or spread of cancer
  • Identify bleeding from the bowel
  • Locate the presence of infection
  • Measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or under-active thyroid

The Department of Nuclear Medicine is responsible for the informative diagnosis of many diseases through the use of a very small amount of radioactive materials. The department also offers services for the therapy of a growing number of diseases (ex. Thyroid Cancer) using different radioactive substances.

Unlike Radiology, which provides physicians with anatomical information, Nuclear medicine cameras record physiological information (for example an enlarged lymph node found on a C.T. scan has many possible causes). Using various Nuclear medicine tracers, experts can tell whether it is a benign normal variant, an inflammatory node, or metastatic disease. The techniques of Nuclear medicine compliment those of Radiology-each technique filling in the information collected by the other.

Range of Treatments or Activities Performed:

We receive MOlybdeum-99 / Technitium-99m (99Mo/99mTc) generator (Activity= 540 mCi) from Amersham-Germany.We use the 99Mo/99mTc for about a week to elute the radioactive nuclide for diagnosis purposes. For therapy application, we receive, on request, the desired radioactive material (such as iodine-131) as well as other radioactive materials for diagnosis purposes (such as Gallium 67, Thallium 201) from King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh-KSA.

A new dual-head camera came (Forte-Philips) and was introduced almost one year ago, to replace the old Gamma camera, single head (Pehasys-ADC). This equipment we are using for the procedures and treatments mentioned below:

Nuclear Medicine Treatment:

  • Hyperthyroidism (toxic adenoma, multinodular toxic goiter, Grave’s disease).
  • Differentiated thyroid cancer (Papillary, Follicular, mixed(Papillary and Follicular)), ablation post Thyroidectomy, treatment of remaining thyroid tissue, treatment of metastasis)

Endocrine Studies:

  • Thyroid Imaging
  • Thyroid uptake
  • Thyroid metastatic survey whole body scan
  • Paratyroid imaging
  • Endocrine / paraendocrine tumors (pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma)

Bone and Musculoskeletal Studies:

  • Bone imaging (Planar and SPECT)
  • Triple –Phase imaging
  • Triple-Phase and Joint imaging (limited area)

Cardiac and Vascular Studies:

  • Exercise stress for Myocardial perfusion imaging
  • Pharmacological stress
  • Rest-redistribution viability study

Pulmonary Studies:

  • Lung perfusion imaging
  • Lung ventilation imaging
  • Differential lung function

Gastro-Intestinal and Hepatobiliary Studies:

  • Liver and Spleen imaging
  • Liver blood pool (hemangioma, A-V malformation)
  • Hepatobiliary imaging (neonatal hepatitis, biliary obstruction)
  • Gastrointestinal blood loss imaging
  • Ectopic gastric mucosa in Meckel’s diverticulum, Barret’s esophagus, etc.
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux, “Milk scan” in children
  • Salivary gland imaging

Genito-Urinary Studies:

  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) with differential function
  • Renography (with differential function)
  • Renal cortical imaging
  • Scrotal scintigraphy
  • Kidney transplant viability
  • Cystography (direct & indirect)

Hematopoetic / Lymphatic Imaging / Reticulo-Endothelial Systems:

  • Bone marrow imaging
  • Lymphoscintigraphy

Central Nervous system:

  • Brain
  • Brain tumor imaging
  • Cerebrospinal fluid flow dynamics (Cisternography) for CSF leak and CSF Shunt evaluation

Oncology, Infection and Inflammation:

  • Lymphoma
  • Scintimammography for breast tumor imaging
  • Sentinel Node Lymphoscintigraphy for breast cancer melanoma
  • Infection imaging
  • Octreoride imaging for pancreatic and neuroendocrine tumors

Miscellaneous:

  • Radionuclide Dacryocyctography for obstructed tear duct imaging

Types of Staff Carrying Out these Activities:

The team of the Nuclear Medicine Department at Almana General Hospital - Dammam, includes nuclear medicine consultant, nurses, technologist and physicist (RSO). Sites where Care and Service are Provided and Times When Care and Service Are Provided

Services are provided inside Nuclear Medicine Unit, located in the basement of the main building by inpatient or outpatient basis and covers 8 hours / day on weekdays (Saturday through Thursday) with working hours from 0800 hours – 1700 hours everyday except Fridays.