Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine plays a very important role in diagnostic imaging, different from other tests such as X-ray and ultrasound. These tests allow us to see the physiologic processes within your body and not just your structure and anatomy. Nuclear Medicine tests are a non-invasive test done by injecting a very small amount of a radioactive tracer into a vein in your arm and the tracer travels to the area of interest. We are then able to take pictures using our gamma camera to diagnose different pathologies.

It is very rare to experience any side effects from the injection. The amount of radioactive material injected for testing is minimal and is considered to be safe. Nuclear medicine testing has been in use for over 6 decades and the benefits of achieving early and accurate diagnoses far outweigh any possible risk associated with the radiation.

Common nuclear medicine procedures performed at GNMI include bone scans, myocardial perfusion imaging, & gastric emptying studies. The imaging is straightforward and painless and involves the patient lying on an examination table with the camera close to his or her body.

Nuclear Medicine Checklist – Patient Preparation

  • Please bring your health card and your requisition with you to your appointment: Requisition Form.
  • Please arrive 10 minutes early to register.
  • Please refer to the different exam preparation checklists below.
  • HEPATOBILIARY SCAN: Nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to test.
  • RENAL SCAN: Drink 2 large glasses of water (about 500ml or 20oz) 30 to 60 minutes prior to the test.
  • THYROID UPTAKE AND SCAN: Discontinue thyroid hormones Levothyroxine / Synthroid 4-6 weeks and PTU / Tapazole for 1 week. Do not take any multivitamins or food rich in iodine (e.g. Kale, Kelp / Seaweed). Note – Patient’s should check with their doctor about whether or not to discontinue use of any thyroid medications.
  • No Caffeine 24 hours prior to test: No coffee, tea (including decaffeinated, herbal or green), chocolate, cola, or medications containing caffeine such as Tylenol #1,2,3 and Excedrin Migraine. Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to study. lf you are diabetic, you may have a light meal.
  • Bring a list of all prescription medications.
  • Please consult your doctor regarding stopping certain medications prior to cardiac stressing: Beta Blockers(48hrs); Erectile Dysfunction Rx (72hrs); Calcium Channel Blockers(24hrs); Do not stop medication on your own.
  • Bring or wear comfortable clothing and running shoes for the exercise stress test.
  • Do NOT have any creams or lotions on your chest.
  • Stress Test – Wear comfortable or loose fitting clothing with comfortable walking shoes / joggers.
Nuclear Medicine May 27, 2019