Nuclear Medicine

What is nuclear medicine? 

Nuclear Medicine/PET uses special radioactive materials to obtain detailed images of your body. The radioactive "tracer" is given orally or through an IV and is absorbed into your body and accumulates in the tissues. Once the tracer is absorbed, a special nuclear medicine camera detects the radioactive material inside your body, and images of this activity enable the radiologist to study the function of your tissues and anatomy.

Some new advances and additional services in Nuclear Medicine Therapy include:

  • Men’s Health: Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Xiofigo injection treats prostate cancer that’s unresponsive to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone. This applies if the cancer has spread to your bones with symptoms, but not to other areas of the body.
  • Women’s/Men’s Health: PET/CT Bone Scans that are more sensitive to detecting bone metastasis in patients with prostate and breast cancer
  • Yttrium 90: Radioactive spheres that target liver tumors
  • Thyroid Therapy: Treatment options for thyroid cancer, grave’s disease, and hyperthyroidism
  • Cardiac Imaging: Thorough evaluation of the function and perfusion of blood flow through the heart
  • 4-hour Gastric Emptying

Preparing for your nuclear medicine exam:

The exam will be performed at the Outpatient Care Center . It is very similar to the CT exam in that you will lie very still on a table while being moved in and out of a doughnut-shaped machine. The exam itself will take 45 minutes to an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

Please do not exercise, and be sure to eat a low-carb diet 24 hours before your exam. That means elimination of sugar, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, corn, carrots, fruit, and fruit juice. Do not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to your exam. You should not chew gum, eat mints, or cough drops prior to your exam. Please wear warm, comfortable clothing.

If you have any questions about your Nuclear exam, please do not hesitate to contact the Nuclear Medicine Department at 203.276.7064.