Nuclear Medicine/PET

ARA Health partners with Mission Health to offer the best of the best in Nuclear Medicine technology. Our subspecialty-trained radiologists continually have an eye toward the latest innovations to ensure our patients have access to state-of-the-art imaging paired with advanced care and communication platforms, streamlining delivery of results and possible treatment plans.


About Nuclear Medicine/PET

Nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography (PET) are specialized imaging techniques that utilize a safe radioactive substance called a radiotracer to visualize the body's internal anatomy and function. The radiotracer is given to the patient either orally (inhaled) or intravenously and travels through the body to the area being examined, giving off energy in the form of gamma rays that are detected by a special camera. A computer then creates images of the inside of the body.

Nuclear medicine and PET technology are commonly used in the following imaging studies:

Alzheimer's Disease
Cardiovascular Disease
Bone Scan
Diamox Scan
Gallium Whole Body Scan
Gastric Emptying
Hepatobiliary Scan
Meckel's Scan
Parathyroid Scan
Seizure Disorders
Shunt Studies
Stress Gated Heart Scan
Thallium Cardiac Scan
Thyroid Scan

You have questions. We have answers.

Below you'll find answers to some of the questions we are commonly asked by patients. Please contact our ARA Cares Coordinator at (828) 436-5500 with any additional questions or concerns.

How do I prepare for a nuclear medicine/PET study?
Preparation will be very specific and depends on the type of exam. Some scans require fasting for a certain number of hours before the test. Others require a laxative or enema. Certain medications may need to be avoided (prescription and over-the-counter) before the test. It's very important to follow the prep instructions as provided by your physician.
What can I expect during a nuclear medicine/PET study?
You will be given a small amount of safe radioisotope, either intravenously or to inhale by mouth. Once it has accumulated in the area of study, a camera will be positioned and the scan will begin. Images will be viewed on a computer monitor after the examination by a specially trained physician.