Nuclear medicine technologies specialize in the imaging of an organ’s metabolic functions. This facilitates diagnosis of certain diseases, as well as identifying various medical conditions.
During nuclear medicine procedures, an intravenous catheter is inserted into the arm or hand vein, through which a radioactive tracer is injected. A gamma camera photographs the organ and the resulting film shows normal absorption or dark and light spots, relative to how the organ is functioning.
Nuclear medicine can localize cancer in the bone, identify blood clots in the lungs, and scan the kidney, gallbladder, brain and other organs for similar abnormalities.
Some current procedures include:
- Thyroid uptake and scan
- Lung ventilation and quantitative scan
- Myocardial perfusion
- Whole body bone scan