Nuclear Medicine

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a method of producing medical images by detecting radiation from different parts of the body after a radioactive tracer material is administered. The images are recorded digitally, which the nuclear imaging physician studies to make a diagnosis on diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Radioactive tracers used in nuclear medicine are, in most cases, injected into a vein. However, for some studies, the tracer may be administered by mouth. These tracers are not dyes or medicines, and they have no side effects. The amount of radiation a patient receives in a typical nuclear medicine procedure tends to be very low, typically less than that of a CT scan.