The Department of Nuclear Medicine was founded in 2002 at the Mount Lebanon hospital/ Gharios Medical Center (first center with dedicate PET/CT in LEBANON). It is one of the largest and advanced Nuclear Medicine departments in LEBANON, with extensive activities in patient care, research and teaching (Lebanese university and American university of Beirut). It plays an active role in national and international nuclear medicine. The many activities of the department members have contributed to the use of nuclear medicine in the study of differential diagnosis cancer and therapeutic.
Along with an unusual depth of expertise with Nuclear Medicine physicians, radiochemists and a physicist, the department features one of the most sophisticated PET/CT, a SPECT and a cyclotron with dedicated automatic laboratory for radiochemistry production.
Furthermore, our cyclotron and nuclear laboratory produce radio-tracers and are the providers of isotopes (such as FDG, FLT, Choline, NaF and galiumG8) to all PET centers in Lebanon and in centers outside Lebanon.
Nuclear Medicine is used for the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases and disorders. It usually requires the administration of a small amount of a radioactive substance, also known as a radiopharmaceutical or tracer. Each tracer is designed to concentrate in certain organ(s) depending on the exam requested by the physician.
A scan is taken of the organ(s) of interest by a specialized camera known as a Gamma Camera (SPECT). This camera does not produce radiation. It is designed to detect extremely small amounts of the tracer that are concentrated in the organ(s) of interest. The amount of tracer administered is calculated to ensure the most accurate examination with the least amount of exposure to radiation.
A Nuclear Medicine physician will interpret the images produced during the exam. This physician is specially trained and certified in Nuclear Medicine.
The Department of Nuclear Medicine utilizes radioactive materials to diagnose the presence of disease in the body and to treat multiple types of cancer especially for thyroid cancer and neuroendocrine cancer (Lutetium 177 DOTA-TATE), as well as conditions such as Graves’ disease and toxic nodule.
Patient therapy is a significant component of Nuclear Medicine. Treatments, and sometimes pain relief, are offered for conditions such as Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer, neuro-endocrine cancer and cancer that has spread to the bone.
PET/CT scans also assist radiation oncologists in planning treatment with external sources of radiation.
Nuclear medicine is unique because it shows how organs and tissues are working. For example, nuclear medicine allows physicians to see how a kidney or heart is functioning, not just what it looks like. Most other diagnostic imaging tests, such as x-ray exams, reveal only anatomical structure.
PET is a powerful diagnostic test that is having a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Because disease is a biological process and PET is a biological imaging examination, PET can detect and stage most cancers, often before they are evident through other tests. PET can also give physicians important early information about heart disease and many neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s.
A PET scan examines your body’s chemistry. Most common medical tests, like CT and MR scans, only show details about the structure of your body. PET is different. It also provides information about function. With a single PET procedure, physicians can collect images of function throughout the entire body, uncovering abnormalities that might otherwise go undetected.