Nuclear medicine scans can help detect diseased tissue before it can be seen on routine x-rays. Earlier diagnosis means earlier and more effective treatment.
There are many types of nuclear medicine scans and each is used for a different purpose:
- Bone scans can detect fractures, infections, tumors, and metastasis
- Thyroid scans reveal relative thyroid functions
- Ventilation/perfusion scans are used to evaluate the risk of blood clots in the lungs
- Cardiac scans show the heart as it beats, measure blood flow and heart function, and can detect a recent heart attack
- Liver and gallbladder scans can help diagnose cirrhosis, tumors, and gallbladder disease
Nuclear medicine procedures are safe, effective, and painless. They are performed by highly trained physicians and technologists.
During a nuclear medicine procedure, a small amount of radioactive material, called a radiopharmaceutical, is introduced into the body. Depending on the type of test, the material may be injected, inhaled, or swallowed.
The radiopharmaceutical chosen and the means of administering it depend upon the part of the body being scanned.
All radiopharmaceuticals are manufactured under extremely strict government standards and are administered in the smallest possible dose needed to achieve good imaging results. The radioactivity is quickly eliminated from the body after the test is completed, usually through the urine.
A certain length of time (several minutes to two days) after the radiopharmaceutical is given, a gamma camera records the amount of radioactivity (gamma rays) remaining in the body. A computer usually assists the calculations and forms the actual image.
Nuclear Medicine services are offered from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule an exam, call 919-470-5279.
Physicians offering this service include:
- Amaresh, Amar Muniyappa, MD
- Beeson, Donn Kirk, MD
- Bone III, Samuel Nicholas, MD
- Brown, Teresa Truitt, MD
- Cepeda, Christopher Miguel, MD
- Choi, Andrew Inwon, MD
- Cruell, Randy Anthony, MD
- Hidalgo, Hector Jesus, MD
- Lester Jr., James W., MD
- Loehr, Stephen Peter, MD
- Merritt, Ashley Grant, MD
- Pathak, Hemang Jayendra, MD
- Safrit, Hal Dean, MD
- Yankes, Joseph Robert, MD