Nuclear Medicine Scan

Summary

 

Nuclear medicine is a safe and painless technique which provides medical images of the body.   The imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of disease, sometimes before problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests.

To find out more or book an appointment, you can contact our Diagnostic team on 01622 237 656 or email diagnostics@kims.org.uk.

How do nuclear medicine scans work?

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive materials as tracers to diagnose or treat disease.  In diagnosing a condition, the radiation is detected by a special type of camera called a “Gamma Camera”.  It provides visual information about the area of the body being imaged by looking at the pattern of tracer-uptake.  

Radiation doses are kept as low as possible, particularly for scans on children.  Common procedures performed include; analysing kidney function and drainage, imaging blood flow and function of the heart, to evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis, Brain scanning for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, to locate the presence of infection by white cell scanning and to measure thyroid function to detect an overactive thyroid gland.

Nuclear medicine scanning is mostly performed as an outpatient procedure.  The Radioisotope is given via an injection into your arm, much like a blood test.  Images are taken straight away or within a few hours.  Exact timings will be discussed with you when your scan is booked.

During most nuclear medicine examinations, you will lie down on a scanning couch.  The area being scanned is then placed underneath the camera heads.  They will come close but they will not touch you and you do not feel anything from them.  The camera heads either move around you in a circular motion or scan your body with one camera head placed above and the other beneath you.  You are not completely closed in during the scan, but you will need to remain quite still.

If any special instructions are necessary, you will be informed by the Radiographer before leaving the Nuclear Medicine department.

To find out more:

If you would like to come to KIMS Hospital, contact our Diagnostic team on 01622 237 656 or email diagnostics@kims.org.uk.

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