This service is available at the Riverside location.
What is Nuclear Medicine?
A nuclear medicine procedure is sometimes described as an “inside-out” X-ray because it records radiation emitting from the patient’s body rather than radiation that is directed through the patient’s body. Nuclear medicine procedures use small amounts of radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of anatomy. Radiopharmaceuticals are introduced to the patient’s body by injection, swallowing or inhalation. A camera detects radioactive emissions in the organ, bone or tissue being imaged and then records the information on a computer screen or on ﬁlm.
Nuclear medicine is unique because it documents function as well as structure, whereas most other diagnostic imaging tests reveal only structure. Nuclear medicine procedures are performed to assess the function of nearly every organ. Common nuclear medicine procedures include thyroid studies, brain scans, bone scans, lung scans, cardiac stress tests, and liver and gallbladder procedures.
Although nuclear medicine is primarily used for diagnosis, it can be used to treat disease as well.