Nuclear Medicine Overview

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine Overview

Nuclear medicine uses tiny amounts of radioactive substances to help doctors diagnose and treat a variety of health problems and diseases. It provides information about the structure and function of your body that can’t be found using other imaging exams.

When you have a nuclear medicine exam, you’ll be given a small dose of radioactive material. This radioactive “tracer” moves to the organ to be studied where it gives off energy as gamma rays. A gamma camera detects these rays and, with the help of a computer, produces images and measurements of organs and tissues.

Nuclear medicine studies can be used to:

  • Evaluate bones for infection, arthritis or a tumor
  • Evaluate heart function and coronary artery flow
  • Find and treat certain cancers
  • Identify bleeding in the bowel
  • Identify blockages of the gallbladder
  • Look for infection
  • Measure thyroid function
  • Scan lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems
  • Study kidney function

Nuclear medicine services

Nuclear medicine services available include:

  • Specialized and routine imaging techniques for cardiac, musculoskeletal, thyroid and parathyroid disorders as well as for gastrointestinal, pulmonary and neurological exams
  • Therapies for thyroid diseases and carcinomas
  • Tumor, inflammation and infection imaging
  • Lymphatic system imaging
  • DEXA or bone density testing to assess bone mineral density
  • Gated blood pool imaging (MUGA scan) for heart function disorders
  • Isotope therapy
  • Nuclear medicine exams for children
  • Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging