Search our Physician Database to find the one that is right for you.

Go

Watch 60 Second Housecall

Every Monday through Friday
On WTVA at Noon and Ten...

Make someone's day a little brighter with a hand-delivered email greeting!

Send a Patient an eGreeting!

Nuclear Medicine


What is Nuclear Medicine?


Nuclear Medicine is a sub-department of the Main Radiology Department located on the ground floor. The procedures may demonstrate anatomy and/or function of body organs. The images are developed based on the detection of energy emitted from a radioactive substance given to the patient. Radiation to the patient is generally similar to that resulting from standard x-ray examinations.

What are the preps for Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear Medicine procedures usually require preparation prior to arrival. If the procedure involves evaluation of the abdomen, the patient may have to be NPO prior to appointment. If the procedure involves evaluation of the kidneys the patient may need to drink plenty of water prior to appointment. Patients must bring a list of all medications.


Nuclear Medicine Prep Guide

Procedure Prep Estimated Time of Exam
Bone Scan

May continue with meals and medication

No barium studies 2-3 days prior to scan

Drink 2 glasses of water 2 hours prior to appointment

Please send any pertinent x-rays with patient

3-4 hour delay after injection/patient may leave and return for completion of exam
Liver Scan

May continue with meals and medication

No barium studies 2-3 days prior to scan

15 minute delay after injection/additional 45 to 60 minutes to complete exam
Liver Spect Scan

May continue with meals and medication

No barium studies 2-3 days prior to scan

15 minute delay after injection/additional 45 to 60 minutes to complete exam
Hida Scan

NPO after midnight

Diabetic patients should not take insulin or oral diabetic medication prior to appointment. No morphine for 6 hours prior to appointment.

60 to 90 minutes
Hida Scan with cck stimulation will take additional 30 minutes
Gastric Emptying Study

NPO after midnight

Diabetic patient should not take insulin or oral diabetic medication prior to appointment

Patient will eat oatmeal with radioisotope and is monitored for 60 minutes/2 hours delayed scan if indicated
Gallium Scan

Continue with meals and medication

Drink one 16 oz glass of water prior to appointment

No barium studies 2-3 days prior to scan

A colon prep may be needed prior to the actual scan

If ordered for inflammation/infection or abscess, the patient is injected and scanned at 6 and 24 hours post injection. Patients will be instructed when to return for delayed images.

If ordered for Lymphoma’s/Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s patient must return for additional 48 & 72 hour scans. Patients will be instructed when to return for delayed images.

Parathyroid NPO for 6 hours prior to appointment Scan obtained 10 minutes post injection and delays at 2 hours
Thyroid Scans
Technetium Scan
TC04
I-123

Cont…

NPO 6 hours prior to appointment

Patient must not have had an iodinated contrast study for the last 3 months

Example: IVP, CT or Angiogram. Patient must be off thyroid medication 3 weeks

Example: Thyroid Hormones or PTU

Cannot schedule I-123 on Fridays

Please schedule prior to 2 PM Monday - Friday

Thyroid or Technetium Scan 20 minute delay after injection/scan takes 20 to 30 minutes

I-123—if a patient is dosed with capsule 4 to 6 hour delay/scan takes 45 to 60 minutes

If uptake is requested the patient will be instructed to return the next day to finish exam

I-131
Whole Body Scan

NPO 6 hours prior to appointment

Off Thyroid medication three weeks

Patient must not have had an iodinated contrast study for the last 3 months Example: IVP, CT, or Angiogram

Patient will be given doses and instructed to return the next day for scanning
I-131 Therapy Treatment

NPO 6 hours prior to appointment

The ordering physician must have prior consultation with the Radiologist

Must have negative pregnancy test prior to appointment. If applicable call results to 377-4070

Nuclear Medicine staff will give patient safety instructions. Patient will follow-up with referring physician
Renal Scan

Captopril Scan

May continue with meals

Must be off blood pressure medication and diuretics (Lasix) for 48 hours prior to appointment — please check with ordering physician

Patient is injected and a Flow and Delayed scan is obtained. The Flow Study is completed within 45 minutes. Patient will be instructed to return for a 5 hour delayed scan for Captopril scan
Octreo scan

No barium studies 2-3 days prior to scan

Referring physician will instruct patient to take bowel prep day prior to appointment

Patient may leave and will return for 4, 24, 48 & possible 72 hour scan.
Lympho-cyntography May continue with meals and medications If indicated images up to 4 hours
Lung Scan

May continue with meals and medication

Chest X-ray within 24 hours prior to appointment

60 to 90 minutes


How does Nuclear Medicine work?


For General Nuclear Medicine, the patient is given a radioisotope intravenously or orally. The radioisotope localizes in a specific body organ system. The radioisotope or tracer gives off energy as gamma rays. The gamma rays are detected by a camera and images are produced with help from a computer.

How is the exam performed?

A radioisotope is given intravenously or orally. Imaging times will depend on which type of scan is requested. Imaging will be done either immediately or delayed a few hours or it may be necessary to return the next day for a complete exam.


The patient must remain as still as possible during scanning. Patient movement will cause blurring of the images. If indicated, delayed images will demonstrate how an organ functions over time. The radioisotope will lose it radioactivity generally over 24 hours. It passes out of the body in the urine or stool.

Common uses of Nuclear Medicine Studies:

  • Analyze kidney function
  • Image blood flow and function of organs
  • Identify blockage of the gallbladder (cystic duct)
  • Evaluate Bones for fracture, infection, arthritis or tumor
  • Determine the presence or spread of cancer
  • Locate the presence of infection
  • Measure thyroid uptake to detect hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism

Radiology Report Turnaround Process

A Radiologist who is a physician experienced in Nuclear Medicine and other Radiology procedures will analyze the images and send a report to the patient’s referring physician. The referring physician will inform the patient of the Nuclear Medicine findings.

We have a departmental goal of 6 hours for Radiology Report Turnaround time. We measure the time from radiology request entry to the time the transcriptionist types the final report. The radiology report is also available via our Digital Dictation System, immediately after Radiologist completes dictation. The DVI system phone number is 377-3745. You must first enter your six (6) digit PIN number, your department number, and the patient’s medical record number to access the report.

What are the Benefits VS Risks?

Benefits-

  • The information provided by Nuclear Medicine examinations is unique and is not available by using other imaging methods. For many diseases Nuclear Medicine Studies yield the most useful information needed to make a diagnosis.
  • Nuclear Medicine may eliminate exploratory surgery

Risks-

  • Exposure to small dose of radiation.
  • Other imaging methods should be considered for pregnant patients.
  • Allergic reactions to the radioisotope can occur, but are extremely rare.