Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear Medicine Scan
At Atlantic General Hospital we are on the cutting edge of nuclear medicine technology, by producing highly accurate images in less time or with half the radioactive dose typically required. The advanced technology available with our cutting-edge equipment provides a more comfortable, and even safer, experience while obtaining quality images as good as, or better than, those obtained using conventional methods. This means an excellent quality study with less pressure and pain on your back, shoulders, and knees. Along with a table weight limit of 500lbs, our table lowers to 17 inches from the floor allowing safe transfers for all patients regardless of limitations.

What is a Nuclear Medicine Scan?
There are several types of nuclear medicine scans that provide images of bone, the thyroid, lungs, renal system, gallbladder, bowel, heart, and other organs. These tests can help identify a variety of health conditions. A nuclear medicine scan is a noninvasive test which provides information regarding both the anatomy and the function of the organ. Nuclear medicine scans use a small dose of radioactive material to obtain the images. Unlike conventional x-ray, the equipment does not produce radiation; rather, the radioactive source is the material which is administered to you. Depending on the type of test you’re having, the radioactive material is given intravenously or orally. Then, a specialized camera (gamma camera) acquires images of the area of interest.

Why is it done?
Nuclear medicine scans can help detect and evaluate:

Blood flow problems
Function of the heart
Blockages of the gallbladder
Presence of infection
Evaluation of bones
Presence of cancer
Kidney function

Patient preparation
You will be given specific instructions prior to your exam by your health care provider or the scheduling department. Let your health care provider know if you may be pregnant. Share a list of all medications you are currently taking and any recent imaging studies, and bring this information with you on the day of your exam.

Minimal Radiation exposure
Harm to an unborn baby (it is important to let your technologist know if you are or think you may be pregnant) It is also important to let the technologist know if you are nursing a baby as well.

After the exam you may resume normal activities, to include diet and medications. Your exam will be reviewed by a physician and a report will be sent to your health care provider, who will go over your results with you and discuss the next steps in your care.