Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose a variety of diseases, such as many types of cancers; heart disease; gastrointestinal, endocrine and neurological disorders; and other abnormalities within the body. Nuclear medicine procedures are able to locate molecular activity within the body. Because of this, the exam can identify disease in its earliest stages and see a patient’s immediate response to treatment. This type of diagnostic imaging is used by physicians to visualize the structure and function of an organ, tissue, bone or system within the body.
Nuclear medicine or molecular imaging procedures are noninvasive and, with the exception of intravenous injections, are painless. These scans use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers to help physicians diagnose and evaluate medical conditions.
Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam, the radiotracer is either injected into the body, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. Eventually it accumulates in the organ or area of the body being examined. Radioactive emissions from the radiotracer are then detected by a gamma camera that produces images and detailed molecular information.
PCMH performs many nuclear medicine scans including:
- Nuclear Stress Test (Myocardial Perfusion Study or Cardiolite Stress Test).
- Bone Scan.
- HIDA Scan (Gallbladder).
- Renal Scan.
- Thyroid Scan.
- Lung Scan.
- MUGA Scan (Heart Function).
- Gastric Emptying Scan.
- Infection Imaging.
- Breast Cancer Lymph Node Study.
- Liver/Spleen Study.
Learn how to prepare for an exam here.
PCMH Radiology Department
For questions: 573-768-3295
To schedule an appointment: 573-547-4288
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