Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive material to access the function of organs or systems within the body. This tool often spots abnormalities early in a disease’s progression. It also provides a way to gather information that otherwise would be unavailable or require surgery or more expensive diagnostic tests.
Our technologists are ARRT and CNMT registered in Nuclear Medicine. Our Nuclear Medicine Department has been accredited by the American College of Radiology. Read more about our accreditation here.
Nuclear medicine is used to:
- Analyze kidney function
- Determine the presence or spread of cancer
- Evaluate bones for fractures, infection, arthritis, or tumors
- Identify bleeding in the bowel
- Identify gallbladder blockages
- Locate infections
- Measure thyroid for overactive or underactive functioning
- Provide images of blood flow and heart functioning
- Scan lungs for respiratory and blood-flow problems
- You will need to bring with you a complete written list of medications you are currently taking.
- Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to register.
- You will be called the day before the appointment. The technologist will inform you of any preparation needed and the estimated exam duration, plus will address any questions the patient may have.
- Inform the technologist or RN if there is a possibility you are pregnant.
- When you arrive to the Nuclear Medicine department, you will be asked about your medical history by a nurse or technologist. If lab work is needed, it will be completed prior to the exam.
Nuclear medicine uses small quantities of radioactive materials, called isotopes, that are targeted to specific organ systems or tissues within the body. These can be introduced into the body in different ways. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the radiotracer may be injected into a vein, which is most common, but also can also be swallowed or inhaled as a gas. Either way, it eventually accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined.
Note: It can take anywhere from several seconds to several days for the radiotracer to travel through your body and accumulate in the organ or area being studied. As a result, imaging may be done immediately, a few hours later, or even several days after you have received the radioactive material.