Sutter Launches Nuclear System
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | April 04, 2008
FAIRFIELD - The imaging team at Sutter Regional Medical Foundation this week unveiled a new nuclear imaging system -- informally called a 'gamma camera.'
The camera is Solano County's first non-hospital-based nuclear imaging system, imaging center officials stated. Previously, patients would have to be referred to a hospital or an out-of-town facility.
'(The camera) shows us function as well as structure,' said Barbara Chodacznik, manager of the diagnostic imaging center.
With nuclear medicine, a patient ingests or is injected with a small amount of a radioactive isotope, which is attracted to specific organs, bones or tissue. The isotope emits gamma rays, which are detected by the newly purchased equipment.
The technique allows technicians to identify 'structural' problems, such as a broken bone, and 'functional' problems, such as poor blood flow to the heart.
More than half of the people to use the nuclear diagnostic scanner are cardiac patients at risk of heart attack and stroke, hospital officials said. Cardiologists will be able to further study blood circulation to the heart with the scanner.
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