Nuclear Medicine

A number of conditions can be accurately diagnosed using the state-of-the-art nuclear medicine technology available at Mary Greeley Medical Center. 

For this test, a patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive material called a tracer. The tracer will concentrate in the area of interest, and a nuclear camera will record the image for study by our board-certified radiologists.

Nuclear medicine scans are used for several types of diagnostic tests, including:

  • Bone scans. This imaging test is used to find problems in the joints and bones, such as cancer, infection, stress fractures or arthritis. It is also used to check joint replacement surgery.
  • Cardiac stress tests. This test determines if the heart muscle is getting the blood supply it needs and how well it is working. Images are taken while the subject is at rest and again after the heart is exercised.
  • Liver and biliary scans. Nuclear scans are used to examine the liver, gallbladder and ducts in the liver to determine if they are functioning properly.
  • GI bleed scan. A gastric intestinal scan allows physicians to locate the source of bleeding in the stomach or intestine.
  • Thyroid scans. This test provides information on the size and function of the thyroid, helpful in the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, cancer or other growths.

In addition to being a diagnostic tool, nuclear medicine is helpful in the treatment of certain conditions. These procedures are used when radioactive material is needed to localize a specific abnormality or help shrink abnormal tissue, such as in the treatment of thyroid tumors.

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