What is a Nuclear Medicine Test

What is a Nuclear Medicine Scan?

What is nuclear medicine imaging?

A nuclear medicine scan combines small amounts of radiation, administered orally or intravenously, and a special camera to create pictures of tissues, bones, and organs inside the body. The images are digitally generated on a computer and transferred to a nuclear medicine physician, who interprets the images to make a diagnosis. Nuclear scans are commonly used to monitor cancer and are often paired with other scans, like MRI or CT

Radioactive tracers used in nuclear medicine are, in most cases, injected into a vein. For some studies, they may be given by mouth. These tracers aren’t dyes or medicines, and they have no side effects. The amount of radiation a patient receives in a typical nuclear medicine scan tends to be very low.

Preparation

How to prepare for a nuclear medicine exam varies because each study is different.  Patients are urged to consult their own physician for specific instructions about how to prepare for their specific procedure.

Why would you need a nuclear imaging test?

Nuclear imaging is used primarily to diagnose or treat illnesses. Conditions diagnosed by nuclear medicine imaging include:

  • Blood disorders
  • Thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism
  • Heart disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Lung problems
  • Bone problems, including infections or breaks
  • Kidney disease, including infections, scars or blockages
  • Cancer

Nuclear medicine imaging can also be used to treat conditions or to evaluate how treatment is working. One example of this is radioimmunotherapy, which combines radiation and immunotherapy to deliver radiation precisely to a targeted area.

Safety and Concerns

As with any procedure involving radiation, pregnant women should consult with their physician before undergoing a nuclear medicine exam. Generally, nuclear medicine scans are not performed on pregnant women. Patients should also make sure their physician knows what medications they are taking and if they are a nursing mother before undergoing a nuclear medicine exam. 

To book a scan, visit us at Medmo.com. Medmo helps people schedule radiology imaging tests – such as MRI, CT scans, PET, and more – at nearby accredited centers and identify the payment solution that works best for them. 

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What is a Nuclear Medicine Scan?

A nuclear medicine scan combines small amounts of radiation, administered orally or intravenously, and a special camera to create pictures of tissues, bones, and organs inside the body. The images are digitally generated on a computer and transferred to a nuclear medicine physician.
Read more

How to Prepare for a Nuclear Medicine Test

Some scans require patients to not eat or drink for 2 to 12 hours before the test. For others, patients may be asked to take a laxative or use an enema to clear out their system. It is important to inform the doctor or nurse of everything medication currently being used, even over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbs.
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