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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a subspecialty within the field of radiology. It includes diagnostic imaging studies that demonstrate body anatomy and function. The images are based on the distribution of a radioactive substance given to the patient, either intravenously, by mouth or inhaled into the lungs. Generally, radiation to the patient is similar to that resulting from standard X-ray examinations. Nuclear medicine images can assist the physician in diagnosing diseases. Tumors, infections and other disorders can be diagnosed by evaluating organ function. Some of the Nuclear Medicine Procedures we perform include:

  • Bone/Lung/Renal Scans
  • Gastric/Liver Studies
  • MUGA
  • Radioisotope Therapy
  • SPECT Scans - allows for routine exams to include a CT compentne, which provides a better "roadmap" to better characterize and localize lesions anatomically. In addition, fusion of the SPECT images with the CT images allow for a greater sensitivity and specificity regarding lesion detection and characterization. This can potentially reduces the amount of follow up imaging exams (such as X-Ray or MRI) needed to adequately characterize lesions.
  • Thyroid Studies
  • Xofigo Metastatic Prostate Therapy

What Can I Expect?

A Nuclear Medicine test can take anywhere from ten minutes to two hours and up to four days. You may be expected to lie flat; we will try to make you as comfortable as possible. You may be expected to change into a gown and remove all metal from pockets. You may be expected not to eat or drink for four - six hours prior to the exam. Friends, children and family members are not able to be in the room unless for interpretation or a minor. There are no side effects from the radioactive substance you will receive. Following your exam, resume the rest of your day with your normal routine and activities. There are no restrictions after your test unless you are having a thyroid therapy pill. These instructions will be given to you during your consultation with the Radiologist.

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