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NUCLEAR MEDICINE

An Important Diagnostic Tool, Covering
a Broad Range of Conditions

Hackensack Radiology Group is one of the only practices that
performs nuclear medicine exams in an outpatient, non-hospital setting.

Schedule Your Nuclear Medicine Exam Today

Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses low-doses of radioactive tracers to help diagnose or monitor medical conditions. These “tracers”, also referred to as radiopharmaceuticals, are ingested, injected, or inhaled.

This branch of radiology examines the body on a molecular level, allowing for the detection of diseases in its early stages, as well as immediate medical intervention.

How Does It Work?

A radiotracer is introduced in the patient’s body by injection, ingesting a capsule, or inhaling a nebulized tracer. All tracers are FDA-approved and safe for medical use. There type of tracer used will be determined by the exam your physician has requested.

Depending on the type used, the tracer will localize to specific parts of your body (e.g. bones, lungs, etc.). A specialized detector is used to detect the location of the tracer in your body and create diagnostic medical images.

nuclear-medicine

Do I Need A Nuclear Medicine Exam?

Nuclear medicine is often used to answer specific clinical questions. It can also monitor the body’s response to treatment and therapies.

Some of the conditions evaluated by nuclear medicine exams include disorders of the:

  • Brain (Alzheimers)
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Kidneys and urinary tract
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Thyroid and Endocrine glands

Ask your physician if a nuclear medicine exam may be a part of your diagnostic or treatment plan.

The Advantages of Nuclear Medicine

With the exception of a small needle injection for some studies, the examination is completely painless and non-invasive.

Some studies allow for screening of the entire body in one scan (e.g. bone scan).

Allow for the monitoring of response to ongoing treatment and therapy.

Helps your physician answer specific clinical questions regarding your condition, helping guide future treatment and therapy.

FAQ and the Experience: Everything You Need To Know

What will I experience during and after the procedure?

Depending on which exam your physician has requested, a low-dose of tracer will be injected, ingested (capsule), or inhaled. Some tracers take a few hours to localize within the body, which means you might return for second visit for the scan, after the tracer administration. A specialized, painless scanner will take images of you to complete the procedure.

The small amount of radiotracer in your body will not produce adverse side-effects. You will be able to resume your daily activities, although your imaging specialist may give you some basic instructions following the exam.

How should I prepare for my exam?

Inform your physician of any existing allergies. Also let your doctor know if you are taking any supplements. Recent illnesses, surgeries, and tests should also be reported. Expectant women and those who are breastfeeding should disclose this information with their physicians.

Is radiation poisoning a risk?

No. The doses utilized are extremely small, and you will not experience any side-effects. The tracer (radiopharmaceuticals) will be naturally excreted out of your body, most typically through your urine. Your imaging specialist will make sure your exams are performed appropriately and to minimize your exposure.

Book Your Nuclear Medicine Exam Today

Have any other questions?