NUCLEAR MEDICINE / PET
The Vanderbilt University Hospital has five state-of-the-art gamma cameras, all of which are dual-head single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) systems; one of them is a state-of-the-art large field of view gamma camera with an integrated 16-slice CT and one of these possesses a 4-slice integrated X-ray CT system for SPECT attenuation correction and fusion for anatomical localization. tAnother is an integrated cardiac SPECT/CT combining a dual-head SPECT gamma camera and a state-of-the-art 64-slice CT unit allowing the performance of CT angiography. In addition, there are three dual-head SPECT gamma cameras at the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute and one at The Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
The Nuclear Medicine Division also includes positron emission tomography (PET). PET is an imaging modality which allows direct evaluation of the metabolic rate of organs in the normal and various pathological states. PET has become an established procedure for the evaluation of neurologic, cardiovascular, and oncologic disorders. The PET center is equipped with state-of-the-art cyclotron and a state-of-the art integrated PET/CT system combining a dedicated full ring PET tomograph and a multi-detector CT unit. The cyclotron has been operated commercially for distribution of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) since the mid-1990s. Combined PET/CT and SPECT/CT devices provide both the metabolic information from PET or SPECT and the anatomic information from CT in a single examination; the information obtained by SPECT/CT and PET/CT has been shown to be more accurate than either imaging method alone.
The facilities include a well-equipped radiopharmacy and in vitro laboratory, a PET radiopharmacy and radiochemistry laboratories. The radiochemistry laboratories have recently expanded facilities and staff for the development of new SPECT and PET radiopharmaceuticals. MicroPET and microSPECT are available at the Vanderbilt Univeristy Institute for Imaging Sciences for animal research studies.
The Radiology Department has a comprehensive integrated computer network with an electronic health record (EHR) and PACS system with numerous viewing stations.
The affiliated Veterans Administration Medical Center
is located on the University campus, directly adjacent to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and includes seven gamma cameras, four with SPECT/CT capability and three with dual head, variable angle capability. There is also at the VA a state-of-the art integrated PET/CT system combining a dedicated full ring PET tomograph and a multi-detector CT unit.
All nuclear medicine faculty members are leaders in their field with extensive publications in multiple areas including but not limited to PET and PET/CT and SPECT and SPECT/CT in the evaluation of neurologic, cardiovascular and oncologic disorders. Numerous research programs are ongoing in the Division of Nuclear Medicine, as well as collaborations with other Divisions in the Vanderbilt Department of Radiology and the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Sciences.
In addition to the Nuclear Medicine faculty, the Nuclear Medicine Program is supported by:
- James A. Patton, PhD., Director of Nuclear Medicine Physics
- Robert M. Kessler, M.D, Director of PET research
- Jeffrey A. Clanton, MS, D.Ph., Director of the Nuclear and PET Radiopharmacies
- Todd Peterson, PhD, Director of Small Animal Imaging Research
- Aaron B. Brill, MD, PhD, Research Professor of Radiology and Physics
- Michael G. Stabin, PhD, Health Physics and Radiation Dosimetry.
The Nuclear Medicine Residency Program offers four residency positions, and there is also a Nuclear Medicine Technology Program. There are more than fifteen nuclear medicine clinical conferences monthly as well as numerous collaborative clinical and research conferences complemented by an extensive nuclear medicine library with teaching files and computerized instruction.