Nuclear Medicine

What is nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine imaging is a very common medical procedure that uses small amounts of radioactive materials to highlight a specific body organ, in order to help your doctor diagnose and in some cases, treat a variety of diseases. Using a gamma camera, Nuclear medicine imaging detects the presence of disease by showing functional changes in the organs whilst other imaging modalities show changes in structural appearance.
Before your test you will be given a small amount of a radioactive substance. We normally inject it but sometimes you will be required to eat, drink or breathe it in depending on the test.
You will be required to lie down flat and keep still for your scan. Movement will distort the pictures. The length of scan can vary from 15 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the procedure.  Depending on the procedure you are undergoing, a quick low dose CT scan may be done simultaneously.
Page last updated: 18 Feb 2021
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