What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medicine is an imaging technique in which low levels of radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive material) or tracers are administered orally or injected into the body in order to enhance the images of different areas of the body. The radiopharmaceuticals are specially formulated to be temporarily collected in the body part being studied. The tracer emits gamma rays which are detected by nuclear cameras and are enhanced by computers to form images of the abnormality or disease.
This is a safe, painless procedure that shows the shape, structure and function of organs, soft tissues and bones. Nuclear medicine scans are used to diagnose and treat defects in the structure of an organ, abscesses or infections, unsuspected fractures, degenerative changes such as tumors and identification of abnormalities very early in disease processes. Nuclear scans typically show less detail or spatial resolution, than other type of imaging but the functional information provided is valuable in assessing tissue or organ function. Much of the information provided in nuclear studies will show the disease sooner than anatomic imaging provided in x-rays, CT or MRI studies.
Nuclear Medicine is located in Diagnostic Services, Doylestown Hospital.