Learn About Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine is a division of diagnostic imaging. It uses safe and small amounts of radioactive materials to make pictures of the body’s interior with a scanner that works much like a camera. Nuclear medicine helps doctors evaluate the function of the heart, lungs, brain, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, thyroid and salivary glands. Nuclear medicine can be especially useful in detecting particular infections and tumors in their early stages and to locate irregularities in the bones.
Types of Nuclear Medicine Procedures Offered
Nuclear medicine is one of the most painless yet reliable diagnostic tests available in medicine today. The scanning procedure may take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes. You will not feel the scanning taking place.
The following are some of the procedures we offer:
A bone scan is a nuclear medicine technique for creating images of bones on a computer screen or on film. The test uses a small amount of radioactive dye to help diagnose problems with your bones, particularly problems with your bone metabolism.
A cisternogram is a nuclear scan test. A cisternogram is used to look for issues in the way your cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) circulates within the ventricles of the brain.
Diuretic Renal Scan
Diuretic renal scans involves the use of radioactive material to examine your kidneys and assess their function. These scans allow your physicians to evaluate urinary obstruction and kidney stones.
A gallbladder scan is a procedure used to assess the function and structure of the gallbladder. A tiny amount of a radioactive substance is used in a gallbladder exam,helping find blockage in the tubes (bile ducts) that leap from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestines.
Gated Pool Ejection Fraction
A gated pool ejection fraction procedure helps evaluate heart muscle function, heart failure, effect of drugs including chemotherapy on heart wall motion, and calculate an ejection fraction.
Gastric Emptying Scan
Gastric emptying scans determine and measure gastric motility disorder, especially in patients with symptoms of nausea, bloating and abdominal pain. This scan evaluates the effect of medication or surgical intervention on gastric motility.
A lung scan is a radiology procedure that examines the lungs to identify or follow the progress of treatment of certain conditions. This nuclear scanning test is most commonly used to detect a blood clot that is preventing normal blood flow to part of a lung.
Lymphoscintigraphy helps evaluate your body’s lymphatic system for disease by using small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers. A lymphoscintigraphy helps pinpoint what tissue needs to be removed in the breast.
Neuroendocrine or carcinoid tumors can be small and can spread anywhere in the body. An octreoscan is a test that helps indicate the extent of tumors and show where they are.
Parathyroid scans are ordered to detect the location of enlarged parathyroid tissue in the upper neck and upper chest region in patients with hyperparathyroidism.
Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test
A myocardial perfusion scan is a non-invasive nuclear imaging test that shows how well blood flows through your heart muscle.
Thyroid Scan with Uptake
A radioactive iodine uptake test (RAIU) is also known as a thyroid uptake. It is a measurement of thyroid function, but does not involve imaging.
White Blood Cell
A white blood cell labeling procedure is used to evaluate post-operative fevers in the absence of localizing signs, detect abscesses and osteomyelitis, detect disc space and joint space infection and evaluate inflammation.
Patients are safe from overexposure to radiation from nuclear medicine for three important reasons:
- We use only tiny doses of radioactive materials in diagnosis.
- The drugs we use lose most of their radioactivity in a few hours and your body quickly eliminates them.
- We carefully control the facilities of the nuclear medicine department and meet rigid safety standards. Our highliy skilled personnel are experienced, well-trained and safety-conscious at all times.
Please be sure to tell your doctor if there is any chance you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.