What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medical exams use a small amount of radiation in the form of injected radioactive agents, called radiopharmaceuticals or tracers. These agents temporarily emit gamma rays detectable by special cameras. The powerful cameras used, either gamma or PET (Positron Emission Tomography), provide us with images of the function and biological activity, rather than simply structural appearance, of your organs. These exams are safe, painless and increasingly effective with the latest technology. Common nuclear exams include bone, gallium, HIDA (gallbladder), myocardial perfusion (heart stress test) and thyroid scans, and renal imaging to check organ function. Nuclear medicine bone scans help detect arthritis, fractures, infections, tumors and causes of unexplained bone pain.