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Radiology

Nuclear Medicine Program

Nuclear medicine is a specialty within medical imaging and radiology that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of heart conditions, cancers, and gastrointestinal, endocrine and neurological disorders. 

Nuclear medicine examinations provide unique information such as functionality of the organs and anatomic structure of the body that is often unattainable using other imaging procedures. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive. Apart from IV injections, they are usually painless medical tests that help physicians diagnose and evaluate medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called radiotracers and radiopharmaceuticals (the mix of radiotracers and pharmaceuticals). 

Different procedures are used in each case, depending on the type of exam. Sometimes the radiotracer is either injected into the body, at other times swallowed or inhaled as a gas. This eventually accumulates in the organ or area of the body being examined.  The emissions are detected by a special camera or imaging device that produces pictures and provides molecular information.

The Nuclear Medicine Program at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA offers a full range of radiopharmaceutical imaging. Radiopharmaceutical imaging is different from radiographic imaging. The former looks into the functionality of the organs. At Tufts Medical Center, a wide range of imaging is offered, including: 

  • Adult and pediatric cardiac nuclear medicine
  • Lympho-scintigraphy to localize sentinel lymph node before surgery for cancer
  • I-131 therapy and diagnostic imaging of thyroid diseases
  • Radioimmuno-therapy like Bexxar and Zevalin treatment for patients with lymphoma and PET

Risks of nuclear medicine

Because the doses of radiotracer administered are small, diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures result in relatively low radiation exposure to the patient, acceptable for diagnostic exams. Thus, the radiation risk is very low compared with the potential benefits. 

Hoon Ji, MD, PhD

Hoon Ji, MD, PhD

Title(s): Chief of Body MRI; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-0040
Fax #: 617-636-0041

Body MRI, general radiology

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Neel Madan, MD

Neel Madan, MD

Title(s): Director, Radiology Residency Program; Radiologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiology, Pediatric Radiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-0040
Fax #: 617-636-0041

Pediatric neuroradiology, neuroradiology, general radiology

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Nayer Nikpoor, MD

Nayer Nikpoor, MD

Title(s): Chief of Nuclear Medicine; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-0040
Fax #: 617-636-0041

Nuclear medicine

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Joseph F. Polak, MD, MPH

Joseph F. Polak, MD, MPH

Title(s): Radiologist; Chief, Radiology, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3004
Fax #: 617-636-0041

Cardiovascular imaging, interventional radiology, imaging of atherosclerosis and plaque evaluation, interventions of venous diseases, general radiology

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Call Us
General: 617-636-9729
MRI: 1-800-258-4674
Interventional: 617-636-3004