Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine refers to the practice of administering a small amount of a short lived radioisotope to patients prior to performing an imaging examination. This helps the radiologist see information about biochemical activity in your body. Your doctor may order this examination to compliment the detailed anatomical images provided by MRI or CT scans. Some of the common nuclear medicine examinations that your physician may order are bone scans, or examinations of the liver, kidneys, or bile ducts.

What to Expect

After the isotope is administered, there is usually a waiting period prior to the imaging examination. Both the isotope and the waiting period vary depending upon the examination your physician has ordered for you.

You will lie on the table and the Scintillation Camera will be positioned a short distance from your body, over the area of your body to be imaged. The camera is a disc shaped deivce, approximately three feet in diameter, and it creates images by collecting information about the isotope in your body. The amount of time the examination will take depends upon the examination, but many types of exams last less than one hour.

Preparations and Precautions

Preparations for nuclear medicine examinations vary depending on which exam your doctor has ordered. If you are pregnant or there is a chance you could be pregnant please consult your physician and inform us of this before your examination.

The following patient information sheets provide additional information about specific nuclear medicine studies :

(Nuclear medicine patient information sheets require Adobe Reader )