An Important Diagnostic Tool, Covering a Broad Range of Conditions
Hackensack Radiology Group is one of the only practices that performs nuclear medicine exams in an outpatient, non-hospital setting.
Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses low-doses of radioactive tracers to help diagnose or monitor medical conditions. These “tracers”, also referred to as radiopharmaceuticals, are ingested, injected, or inhaled.
This branch of radiology examines the body on a molecular level, allowing for the detection of diseases in its early stages, as well as immediate medical intervention.
How Does It Work?
A radiotracer is introduced in the patient’s body by injection, ingesting a capsule, or inhaling a nebulized tracer. All tracers are FDA-approved and safe for medical use. There type of tracer used will be determined by the exam your physician has requested.
Depending on the type used, the tracer will localize to specific parts of your body (e.g. bones, lungs, etc.). A specialized detector is used to detect the location of the tracer in your body and create diagnostic medical images.
Do I Need A Nuclear Medicine Exam?
Nuclear medicine is often used to answer specific clinical questions. It can also monitor the body’s response to treatment and therapies.
Some of the conditions evaluated by nuclear medicine exams include disorders of the:
- Brain (Alzheimers)
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Kidneys and urinary tract
- Musculoskeletal system
- Thyroid and Endocrine glands
Ask your physician if a nuclear medicine exam may be a part of your diagnostic or treatment plan.
The Advantages of Nuclear Medicine
With the exception of a small needle injection for some studies, the examination is completely painless and non-invasive.
Some studies allow for screening of the entire body in one scan (e.g. bone scan).
Allow for the monitoring of response to ongoing treatment and therapy.
Helps your physician answer specific clinical questions regarding your condition, helping guide future treatment and therapy.