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Nuclear Medicine

GENERAL OVERVIEW ABOUT THE EXAM

Nuclear Medicine is a form of molecular imaging that images organs and body functions through the emission of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) that are given to the patient.

Using nuclear medicine, radiologists can evaluate kidney, cardiac and thyroid function and make diagnoses for various conditions such as tumors and cancers, bone fracture, infection, and arthritis.

There are nearly 100 different nuclear medicine imaging procedures available that visualize every major organ system. When used for treatment (such as I-131 for the treatment of hyperthyroidism or thyroid malignancy), the radioactive molecule has high energy and kills the diseased tissue.

What to Expect

What happens during your examination can vary considerably based on the type of examination being performed. A technologist will call prior to the exam to answer all questions and review the preparation required. Typically, a radiopharmaceutical is administered (either orally or intravenously), and after a variable wait time, you will be placed in front of a camera that will make the images.