Nuclear Medicine

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Patient with the doctor Nuclear medicine is a type of medical treatment that uses tracers (small amounts of radioactive substances) to diagnose or treat diseases. When tracers are introduced into the body, they emit very small amounts of radiation. A device called a scintillation, or gamma camera, detects the radiation and generates images which detail the examined body part’s structure and function.

Nuclear medicine tests identify an organ’s anatomical or functional abnormalities by examining the physiology of the observed body organ.

Abnormalities can be detected very early in the course of a disease, before the medical problem would be apparent with other procedures.

Is Nuclear Medicine Safe?

Nuclear medicines tests are extremely safe as only a small amount of radioactive material is introduced into the body, minimizing radioactive exposure. The radiologist only uses the amount of radioactive material that is necessary to diagnose the patient. The benefits of this process include early and accurate diagnoses, which far outweigh the minimal risks of the radiation.


Pre-test preparation is usually unnecessary. If it is required, the doctor or nuclear medicine team will tell you ahead of time.

Female patients should tell their doctor if they may be pregnant or are breast-feeding.