CDI Miami | Wednesday December 2, 2015

What is Nuclear Medicine?

There has been rapid advancement in the field of radiology over the past century. Nuclear medicine is unsurpassed in accuracy by any other form of radiology and, since it is painless and non-invasive, it is growing in popularity among patients and medical professionals. Nuclear medicine allows radiologists at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging to search for an array of diseases in multiple areas of the body.


Nuclear medicine can detect abnormalities of the brain, map out respiratory health, blood flow, and even bone. It can even identify transplanted tissue. The ability to map the internal workings on the human body allows the trained staff at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging to identify ailments like coronary artery disease, metastatic bone disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and, of course, cancer. Even rare tumors of the pancreas and adrenal glands can be spotted in the scans. Nuclear medicine is used as part of the evaluations for hyperparathyroidism, lymphedema, spinal fluid and possible bleeding in the bowls.


In nuclear medicine, small amounts of radioactive material are injected and scanned to precisely determine body functions and the locations of diseases. This form of radiology precisely maps the heart, brain, lung, bone or the whole body. When combined with images from both CT and MRI scans, nuclear scans create a more complete picture of the patient’s systems. This is called a PET/CT scan.


This non-invasive procedure does require some preparation on the part of the patient. Preparations vary with the procedure, some require a pre-appointment several hours or the day before and others simply ask that you forego your morning coffee. Preparation can include stopping a medication regimen, sometimes up to a week in advance so the medicine can fully leave your system, so it is important to discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor when scheduling the scan. Aside from the discomfort of the injection, patients should not experience any discomfort from nuclear medicine.