PET/CT & Nuclear Medicine

UC San Diego Health is a leader in advanced nuclear medicine diagnostics and treatments.

This means you have access to a comprehensive range of quality imaging services not widely available elsewhere.

Our specialized equipment and expertise make us a preferred referral center for many other hospitals and specialty physicians.

Our nuclear medicine teams perform more than 34,000 exams a year, offering comprehensive nuclear medicine services that include:

  • Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT), also known as PET/CT scans, for the early diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and dementias, including Alzheimer's disease
  • Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and computed tomography (CT), SPECT/CT scans, for certain situations in which both the location and functioning of a tissue is of critical importance, such as for cardiac, brain, thyroid and infection imaging.

About PET/CT Scans

PET/CT is an advanced imaging technique that combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) into a single exam. By combining the two, radiologists obtain detailed information on both the structure and function of cells and tissues in the body. This can help locate the precise location and extent of tumors, and identify diseases that may otherwise go undetected. Our technologists are trained in both PET and CT and routinely perform both PET/CT and diagnostic CTs at the same visit for your convenience.

PET/CT Imaging Services

Our radiologists specialize in neuro, cancer and cardiovascular PET imaging, and work closely with medical specialists to best diagnose and manage your care. 

Your doctor may recommend PET/CT for:

  • Early diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and dementias, including Alzheimer's disease
  • Accurate assessment of the location and stage of malignant disease
  • Non-invasive monitoring of the effects of treatment
  • A single-exam alternative for multiple medical testing procedures
  • Reduction or elimination of ineffective and unnecessary treatments
  • Detection of prostate cancer recurrence with Axumin
  • Detection of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) with gallium (Ga) 68 injections

Our PET/CT imaging services are part of Moores Cancer Center, the region's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Nuclear Medicine Services

Nuclear medicine is particularly valuable in providing physicians with information on both the structure and function of a patient's cells, tissue or organs. 

Our nuclear medicine services include:

  • Brain imaging with DaTscan and Ceretec
  • Xofigo prostate cancer treatment
  • Y-90 liver cancer treatment
  • GFR kidney function evaluation
  • Iodine 131 thyroid cancer treatment, both inpatient and outpatient
  • Lutathera for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs)
  • Plasma volume testing
  • Nuclear breast imaging
  • Breast scan (lymphoscintigraphy) and sentinel node mapping
  • All general nuclear medicine procedures