Nuclear Medicine

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health is home to the latest 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, including 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 child’s care team to develop the most effective treatment plan possible. In some cases, radiopharmaceuticals, or ingestible radioactive medicine, can be used for treatment.

Nuclear medicine program

Our nuclear medicine program pioneered the use of positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) in pediatrics, minimizing your child’s exposure to radiation, eliminating the need for separate appointments, and providing more accurate diagnoses and treatment options. PET/MRI combines PET, which uses an injection of a small amount of radioactive material to reveal how the body’s cells work, and MRI, which uses a magnetic field to produce very detailed images of the body’s organs and other structures.

We also provide single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging, which uses a small amount of radiation to see the function of the organ or tissue as it relates to your child’s anatomy. This limits the number of tests and visits your child must undergo and reduces time under anesthesia.