Department of Radiology | Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Boston Children's Hospital PET/CT Scanner

Nuclear Medicine Overview

The Pediatric Radiology Department at Boston Children’s Hospital combines individualized care, specialty expertise, and the most advanced technology for children, teens, and young adults to perform the highest quality Pediatric Nuclear Medicine scans and provide the most accurate diagnoses.

In nuclear medicine imaging, very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) are used to diagnose and treat disease. The radiopharmaceuticals are detected by special types of cameras to provide very precise pictures of the area of the body being imaged. This technology allows early diagnosis and monitoring of disease and can often make invasive procedures unnecessary. It also complements information obtained from X-rays, computed tomography (CT Scans), pediatric ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some applications of nuclear medicine are used for treatment of certain types of cancer and other diseases.

Why Choose Us?

  • Individualized Care and Specialty Expertise: We use customized exam protocols for each patient based on age, size, symptoms, and disease process. Our entire staff is highly trained and experienced in pediatric nuclear medicine and our physicians are certified by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. They--along with our physicists and technologists--are leaders in the Society of Nuclear Medicine.  Our child life specialist is available to help you and your child before, during, and after the visit.

  • Advanced Technology: We use the latest imaging equipment to perform the diagnostic or therapeutic procedure your child needs. Our state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner generates the highest quality images using the lowest radiation doses and shortest scan times possible, with the goal of providing each child with the safest and most effective imaging examination available. We are also able to electronically fuse our nuclear medicine studies with images obtained from CT’s or MRI’s performed either here, or elsewhere. In many cases, this gives a more complete assessment of the problems being investigated, further enhancing the overall quality of your child’s experience.

  • Safety: Because nuclear medicine procedures involve small amounts of radiation, we are committed to ensuring that your child receives the lowest possible dose needed to obtain the high-quality images needed for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Our physicians, technologists, and physicists are leaders in adjusting equipment and procedures to deliver low doses appropriate to children. Read more about our commitment to safety.

  • Environment: Our imaginative décor and dedicated staff help make your child's experience as enjoyable as possible. Age-appropriate distraction techniques are used to help ease anxiety and avoid sedation whenever possible.
  • Pediatric Sedation or Anesthesia: When required, sedation or anesthesia is administered and monitored by a dedicated and specialized team who put patient safety and comfort first.

Your Visit

If your child has been referred to us for a Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging scan, you will want to know what to expect when you come to the hospital for your appointment. Use the links below for specific information on some of the procedures we perform: