Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

nuclear medicineMarshall Diagnostic Imaging

Nuclear medicine relies on using a safe dose of a radioactive substance being administered to the patient, either through a vein, by mouth, or breathing into the lungs. The radiation is similar to a standard X-ray. These compounds, known as radioisotopes, accumulate in the region to be studied and enable a special camera called a gamma camera to view them. This helps evaluate functional abnormalities in:

  • Bone
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Kidneys
  • The endocrine system

What to Expect

The timing of the exam following delivery of the radioactive substance will depend on the type of exam being formed. Imaging might need to place immediately following the dose, a few hours or even a few days later. You can generally expect the imaging itself to take between 20 and 45 minutes. You will lie under a gamma camera. This camera doesn't emit radiation itself but detects the radioisotopes that were administered. It's important to remain still during the exam. Multiple images taken over time may be needed.

The radioactive substance will naturally leave your body as it decays. Preparation for Nuclear Medicine studies varies, and you will be notified in advance regarding what you need to do prior to your exam.

For more information about Nuclear Medicine, please contact our Placerville or Cameron Park location.