SPECT-CT(Single photon emission computed tomography)


Sometimes, additional imaging may be performed with special cameras like SPECT-CT. This system allows fusion of two different type of scans, namely the SPECT and (Computed Tomography)CT. The SPECT image is a three dimensional representation of a nuclear medicine image.

The SPECT image is fused with a CT scan. Combining the information from the two studies provides more precise information of function and structure of the organs than either scan by itself.


Dedicated D-SPECT for Cardiac Scanning


With the new D-SPECT® camera, the patient sits in a specially designed reclining chair with a smaller sized camera that is fixed in place over the patient's chest. Unlike the conventional SPECT camera, the D-SPECT® does not rotate around the patient.

The D-SPECT® takes scans of the heart faster andas short as 2 to 4 minutes. The images are computer-processed and both stress and rest images are reviewed, compared, and analyzed by a Nuclear Medicine physician. 

Time of Flight PET-CT


At MedStar Washington Hospital Center we offer the capability of hybrid imaging of PET and CT examinations. Our state of the art imaging center is proud to provide patients with GEMINI TF TruFlight PET technology, featuring time-of-flight, which raises effective image sensitivity by more than two times over conventional PET and provides other PET performance improvements. The clinical advantages of this technology include:

  • Fast image acquisitions, as short as 10 minutes for a PET whole body scan
  • A consistently excellent level of image quality, particularly with large patients
  • Excellent spatial resolution and lesion delectability for visualization of small lesions
  • The ability to use lower doses of radio-pharmaceuticals, reducing exposure to patients and staff
  • Superior count rate performance for emerging molecular imaging and research applications

The better images in turn allow better localization of the cancer sites, which helps your physicians better design your treatment plan.

GEMINI TF unique open gantry design provides increased patient comfort and flexibility for clinical access. GEMINI systems provide a 190 centimeter scan length for both PET and CT. 

Our Technique in Thyroid Cancer Radioiodine Imaging

We design scanning procedures in order to obtain the best possible images, which helps design the best treatment plan for the patients. Multiple factors distinguish our images from many other facilities, and all of these factors result in much better pictures. 

Just as with any photography, there are many techniques to improve the quality and resolution of an image:

Longer imaging times: When obtaining radioiodine images, a special camera collects the energy coming out of the patient, often through a slow and time-consuming process. In order to improve the quality and resolution of the images, longer imaging times are needed. Our cameras are the faster cameras sold by commercial companies, but we image longer in order to obtain images of better quality and resolution.

Multiple views: Performing multiple views allows us to use different settings and collimators. This improves the quality of our images in finding areas of normal or abnormal thyroid tissue, which we may not have found if we did not take these extra views.

Collimators: Collimators are specially designed equipment to go on the face of a nuclear medicine camera, and depending on how that collimator is designed, it maximizes specific aspects that one is trying to image. Although it is not a lens, it is similar to a lens in that a photographer will pick different lens in order to enhance selected aspects of his photograph. 

Crystals: To capture the radioiodine to form a picture for the patient, a nuclear medicine camera must has what is called a crystal, and a crystal is exactly that—a crystal like a crystal of ice. However, these crystals can be made from different material and in many different ways. One difference is the thickness of the crystal. To maximize imaging, we pick specific thickness of crystal depending on which radioisotope we are trying to image.   When we are imaging I-131 we use a thicker crystal, and when we are imaging I-123 we use a thinner crystal. This is just one more factor that helps increase the quality and resolution of our images.

Cross-sectional imaging: In addition to taking standard images from the front and back aspect of the patient, we can obtain cross-sectional images. Imagine a picture of the front and back of a loaf of bread - cross-sectional imaging is similar to obtaining an image of one slice from the loaf. To do this we use a camera called a SPECT camera (Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography). 

Radioiodine uptake:  We perform a radioiodine uptake test on all our patients. This is a quantitative measure of the actual percent of the dose of radioiodine that we administered to the patient that is has localized to a particular area in the patient such as the patient’s thyroid bed. This can be useful to your nuclear medicine physicians.




The nuclear medicine techniques combine the use of state-of-the art sensitive scanning equipment, advanced computing technology and various radioactive substances to produce high quality images. Currently we house a total of eight nuclear medicine cameras including:

  • 1 Philips XCT – SPECT-CT camera
  • 1 Philips Bright View X – D ual head SPECT Camera
  • 1 Spectrum Dynamics D-SPECT digital camera
  • 2 Siemens Dual Head SPECT E-Cams
  • 2 Siemens Single Head e-Cams
  • 1 Philips Gemini Time of Flight (64) PET-CT Scanner