WHAT IS A NUCLEAR MEDICINE EXAMINATION?

Nuclear Medicine is an imaging specialty that is unique in that it can document organ function and structure. Nuclear Medicine uses a radioactive material to determine if certain organs such as the heart, stomach, kidneys, liver, thyroid, brain and lungs are functioning properly. It is also used to examine the bones for cancer, infection and trauma, the soft tissues for infection, as well as diagnose abnormal bleeding in the gastrointestinal system.

 

 

HOW IS AN NUCLEAR MEDICINE EXAMINATION PERFORMED?

Before the examination you will be given a small amount of radioactive material called a radioisotope, which will be injected or swallowed. In many cases there will be a delay between the time that you are given the isotope and the time the scan is performed. This delay can range from 3 hours to 24 hours. This delay allows the isotope to concentrate in the area of interest. In some cases a series of scans will be taken with a delay of one or two hours between them. During the actual nuclear medicine examination you will lie on an examination table and a camera will photograph the areas of interest and send the images to a computer for review by the Radiologist.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR AN NUCLEAR MEDICINE EXAMINATION?

PLEASE BRING ANY PRIOR CT or MRI (CD or Film) with you for comparison purposes, if they were not performed at North Fork Radiology, or one of our other sites listed in the locations page.

Thyroid Scan: No thyroid medications, antihistamines, or decongestants for 10 days prior to exam. If a patient had an examination (such as CT or IVP) performed with iodine contrast they must wait 8 weeks before having a Thyroid scan. Renal Scan: Prior to your study, you must have had blood-work (including BUN and Creatinine levels) performed within the last three months, it will be necessary to do so before the examination can be performed. A normal BUN and Creatinine level indicates your kidney's ability to properly flush the radioisotope material from your system. Biliary/HIDA Scan: Nothing by mouth for six hours prior to the scan and if the test is ordered with CCK (fatty meal)

PATIENT FORMS >

OUR PHYSICIANS