Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine tests (also known as scans, examinations, or procedures) are safe and painless. In a nuclear medicine test, small amounts of radiopharmaceuticals are introduced into the body by injection, swallowing, or inhalation. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attracted to specific organs, bones, or tissues. The amount of radiopharmaceutical used is carefully selected
to provide the least amount of radiation exposure to the patient but ensure an accurate test. A special camera (PET, SPECT or gamma camera) is then used to take pictures of your body. The camera detects the radiopharmaceutical in the organ, bone or tissue and forms images that provide data and information about the area in question. Nuclear medicine differs from an x-ray, ultrasound or other diagnostic test because it determines the presence of disease based on biological changes rather than changes in anatomy.