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Nuclear medicine


Nuclear medicine can help with care for cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders and many other kinds of medical problems.

Find care


We use nuclear medicine to:

  • Find illness and disease
  • Figure out what kind of illness and disease you may have
  • Give care for illness and disease

Nuclear medicine uses a small amount of radioactive material in the body called a tracer. Cameras show where the tracers go, which lets doctors see how well a body part is working.

During the exam, the radioactive material may be given to you by injection (shot), inhalation (breathing in) or a pill.

As the material collects in the area your doctors are looking at, it gives off energy as gamma rays. We use a gamma camera to look for the gamma rays and take images. The images help your doctor make decisions about what kind of care you need.


About nuclear medicine

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  • For most nuclear medicine exams, you will lie on a scan table with a gamma camera near the area of the body where the pictures will be taken. The scanner is open on both sides.

    The amount and type of radioactive material you'll be given depends on the exam you're having and the area of your body where pictures will be taken.

    As the material travels through your bloodstream or GI tract, you may notice a brief metallic taste. Bad reactions (responses) don't usually happen.

    Each exam time is slightly different. Most exams are done in one day. Some exams require you to come in on more than one day. Ask your technologist for the details about your exam.

  • Our scheduling team will give you specific guidelines for the exam your doctor has told you to have. Some exams require fasting (not eating or drinking) and not taking some medications. Some exams don't require any special preparation.

    Most of the radioactive material is short-lived, meaning it doesn’t stay in the body very long. Most will be gone the day after your exam. You may be slightly radioactive for a few days.

    There are usually no restrictions after these exams. If you're pregnant, might be pregnant or if you're breastfeeding, tell your doctor before the exam.

  • DaTscan is a nuclear medicine exam used mainly to find out if you have a Parkinson's condition or not. A DaTscan is sometimes called a molecular imaging exam or a dopamine scan.

    Learn more

  • For general questions, call 1-206-329-1760. For billing, call 1-260-860-4500. For appointments, call 1-206-860-5496.


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