Technology and projects

Preclinical PET and nuclear medicine

Molecular biology and molecular imaging have increasingly high importance within basal biomedical research, preclinical research, translational and clinical research. Such research also has an important role in gaining new insight on disease processes and in the development new therapies. 

Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT) in combination with compted tomography (CT) are the most important modalites for visualization of molecular and cellular function combined with anatomical imaging. The Department of Nuclear Medicine has a clinical PET/CT (Siemens mCT-S 64) with 64-slice CT scanner and two SPECT scanners (GE Infinia Hawkeye and GE Discovery 670), the Discovery 670 also has a 16-slice CT scanner.

In 2013 a new combined PET/SPECT/CT for small animals was installed, this is the only preclinical PET/SPECT/CT scanner in Norway. 

Coronary CT angiography

In a study on CT angiography and invasive coronary angiography, 800 patients referred to invasive coronary angiography will be scanned with CT angiography. In this project CT is compared with conventional invasive angiography as the gold standard to evaluate if CT can replace invasive angiography to rule out coronary disease. Both CT angiography and CT perfusion scanning will be evaluated in relation to invasive angiography and pressure measurements in the coronary arteries. 

Medical thermography

As the only hospital in Scandinavia, UNN has its own research laboratory for medical thermography led by professor James B. Mercer who is a physiologist and leading scientist in the area of thermal imaging. The research on medical thermography has resulted in a row of master degrees and PhDs as well as provided scientific documentation on the use of dynamic infrared thermography in the preoperative mapping of perforators in reconstructive surgery.

Pelvic floor function and disease

UNN has a national competence center for incontinence and pelvic floor disease and the Department of Radiology provides specialized diagnostic imaging including defecography and dynamic MRI of the pelvic floor.  There is close collaboration with the Department of Plastic Surgery in the development of new surgical techniques. Recently a new study has been launched in collaboration with the University of Aarhus in Denmark on the use of autologous fat injections in the treatment of pelvic floor fistulas, a technique that has been developed in Tromsø.

Reconstructive surgery

More than ten years of collaboration between Louis de Weerd at the Department of Plastic Surgery and Sven Weum at the Department of Radiology has resulted in a number of publications and congress presentations on new operative techniques as well as imaging techniques in plastic and reconstructive surgery. MRI has been used to study the behavior of breast plants in vivo and dynamic infrared thermography has become an integral part of autologous breast reconstruction due to this research.


The Department of Radiology is involved in several MRI studies within the field of neuroradiology including research on dementia, carotid vascular disease, aging and language functions of the brain. Torgil Vangberg specializes on the use of functional MRI and several studies have been performed in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Psychology at UiT.

Pediatric radiology

Through collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics at UNN and the Department of Radiology at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen several papers have been published on the use of MRI in the diagnostics of pediatric rheumatic diseases. At the moment the research group has two PhD candidates working with this research.