Nuclear medicine scans are unique because the exam evaluates how the body works. A nuclear medicine scan is a procedure that uses low-grade radioactive tracers (radionuclides) to take pictures of active cells and organs. The exam allows specially-trained radiologists to check for changes in the cells and organs of the body.
How Nuclear Medicine Works
Radioactive tracers are either injected into the blood stream, swallowed or inhaled depending on the type of exam. Then you lie down on a bed under a scanner that can detect energy emitted from the tracer. After the radioactive tracer reaches the body area being examined, the machine moves in a circular motion to capture the images. The results show the uptake of radioactive tracers by the different tissues of the body.
Types of Nuclear Medicine
Different types of nuclear medicine procedures are offered at specific imaging center locations, some include:
General Nuclear Medicine
- Bone Scans
- Liver Function/Spleen Scans
- Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding Scans
- Lung Scans
- Thyroid Scans
- Scans for Infection
- Renal Scans
Advanced Nuclear Medicine
- Cardiac Nuclear Studies
- Thyroid Ablation and Thyroid Scans
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Nuclear medicine technologists inject the isotopes and take the images required for your Nuclear Medicine procedures. They have state and national certifications and have completed extensive training in all facets of nuclear medicine imaging.