What is a Nuclear Medicine Examination?

Nuclear Medicine involves the use of radioactive materials, or isotopes, to obtain specific diagnostic information. These isotopes transmit a pattern of rays representing the organ size, shape and function. The rays are detected by a special camera and produced on a computer screen.

What Can You Expect During the Exam?

You’ll be positioned on the scanning table under the camera. A radionuclide will then be injected or taken orally. This makes it possible for the camera to detect certain organs and their functions.

Most scans require different images and perhaps a few position changes. You’ll be asked to lie still. Each scan will take about three minutes, some may take longer. Movement may result in the need for additional scans.

For Your Personal Safety

If you’re having a Nuclear Medicine examination, please tell your doctor or the technologist if you are:

  • Pregnant (or think you may be)
  • Allergic to iodine or other materials
  • Undergoing radiation therapy
  • Diabetic

Instructions for You

Bone scans: Plain Bone Scan

  • You should drink plenty of water before the exam
  • There will be an injection given upon arrival. You’ll need to return in approximately three hours for imaging
  • No restrictions
  • Exam takes about 45 minutes to an hour

Bone scan: with/without Flow

  • Exam takes about one hour to complete

Cardiac

  • You may not have any food or drink six hours prior to the exam.
  • Check with your physician about medications you take on a daily basis
  • IV will be placed at the time of your exam
  • You may not consume any caffeine (including decaf coffee) 48 hours before the exam
  • Exam takes about four hours to complete

Gallium Whole Body Scan

  • This exam takes three to four days to complete
  • Each session takes about one to two hours

GI Bleed Scan

  • You may eat and drink whatever you like
  • No restrictions
  • Exam takes about two hours

Liver/Spleen Scan

  • You may eat and drink whatever you like
  • Exam takes about two hours

Meckels Diverticulum Scan

  • You may not have any food or drink 12 hours before the exam
  • Exam takes about 1-½ hours

Muga Study

  • You may eat and drink whatever you like
  • Exam takes about 1-½ hours

PYP Cardiac Scan

  • You may eat and drink whatever you like
  • Exam takes about three hours

Thyroid Uptake

  • You may not have any food or drink after midnight for the first day of the exam
  • Exam takes two days to complete
  • Check with your physician about any medications you take on a daily basis including thyroid medication

Thyroid Scan

  • You may eat and drink whatever you like
  • Exam takes about 1-½ hours

Vasotec Renal Scan

  • You may eat whatever you like
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water before the exam
  • Exam takes about two hours
  • Check with your physician about any medications that you take on a daily basis including ace inhibitors medication

Ventilation/Perfusion Lung Scan

  • You may eat and drink whatever you like
  • Exam takes about 1-½ hours

Hepatobiliary Scan

  • You may not have any food or drink six hours prior to your exam.
  • Exam takes about two hours

Appointment and Contact Information

Please call if you have any questions:

Carteret Health Care 252-808-6154
Nuclear Medicine 252-808-6162
Scheduling 252-808-6200

Our hours are from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday