Nuclear Medicine Advanced Techniques and Technologies

Here is some information about the innovative nuclear medicine exams, techniques and technologies that support our clinical and research work in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging:

Radiopharmaceutical Production – UCSF Medical


At UCSF we have 2 PET/CT cameras that are becoming the standard of care for staging and restaging cancers and assessing response to treatment for a variety of solid tumors.


Using SPECT/CT, UCSF routinely integrates functional information with anatomy localization for all our SPECT protocols (also called tomographic imaging). The benefit of this imaging is that we are able to identify the site of a malignant tumor and precisely identify and advise where a surgeon should optimally operate.

SPECT/CT Imaging - UCSF Medical

Iodine 123 MIBG SPECT/CT in a patient with metastatic pheocromocytoma.

Cardiac PET Imaging

Using PET/CT, we utilize a hybrid imaging technology. When combined with CT angiography, it integrates function and structure in a “one stop shop” assessment so that referring doctors and patients get more information for better treatment planning for addressing cardiac disease.

Cardiac PET Imaging - UCSF Medical
Stress/rest cardiac PET study with N13 ammonia showing fixed perfusion defect in the inferior wall. 
Example of advanced noninvasive cardiac imaging, unsurpassed technology in the Bay Area.

Ability to Synthesize Radiopharmaceuticals for Studies

One of the advanced scientific advantages of the UCSF Nuclear Medicine subspecialty is the ability to produce radiopharmaceuticals. UCSF nuclear physicians can test any potential molecules in the body for virtually any functional or metabolic process that needs to be studied. We can synthesize new compounds, and we do so on a regular basis. We do this to assess biological function and provide insight, early diagnosis, and valuable clinical information to be used for patient management.

Technologist – UCSF Medical
​Technologist carefully calibrating a dose of
radiopharmaceuticals before injecting into the patient.