While the name may sound scary, nuclear medicine is actually a very safe and painless form of diagnostic testing. It is unique in that it provides doctors with information about both anatomy (such as an internal organ) and function (such as blood flow through a vein). It is ideal for identifying abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease—long before it may be revealed with other diagnostic tests.
Doctors at IHS use nuclear medicine testing to visualize blood flow and function to the heart, lungs and other organs; evaluate bones for fractures, infection and arthritis; detect cancer throughout the body; evaluate the brain for neurological disorders and brain injury; measure thyroid function; and more.
Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (also known as radiopharmaceuticals) that are administered orally or intravenously into your body before your test and then detected with a special camera. A computer is then used to reconstruct precise pictures of the area of the body being imaged.