Nuclear Medicine (NM)

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a medical speciality that involves giving a patient a small amount of radioactive medication, called a radiopharmaceutical. This makes the body slightly radioactive for a short time. A special nuclear medicine camera detects the radiation, which is released from the body, and takes images of how the inside of the body is working. The body does not feel the ionising radiation.

What are the benefits of a Nuclear Medicine Study?

A nuclear medicine study helps your doctor evaluate how a particular area of your body or organ system is working. It can give information about how an injury, disease or infection might be affecting your body. It can also be used to show improvement or deterioration of a known abnormality after any treatment you might have had. Nuclear medicine studies are very good at showing how an organ system is working, and often complement other investigations and imaging studies.

Commonly performed procedures include:

  • myocardial perfusion studies
  • gated cardiac blood pool scans
  • renal scans
  • bone scans
  • gastric emptying
  • lung scans
  • thyroid scans
  • radio-iodine thyroid therapy


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