Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a safe, painless, and effective way of gathering information. It uses very small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and sometimes treat disease. A unique aspect of a nuclear medicine test is its extreme sensitivity to abnormalities in an organ's structure or function. This aids physicians in diagnosing problems early in progression, such as cancer heart disease, arthritis, and infection.9

How does Nuclear Medicine Work?

  • Patient receives a radioactive material (isotope)
  • The isotopes travel to targeted organs and tissues
  • The isotopes emit gamma rays that are detected by special cameras gamma cameras
  • These cameras produce an image
  • The images and readings are studied to formulate a diagnosis by the radiologist10

What are the benefits of Nuclear Medicine?

  • Used to detect metabolic disease as it progresses in the body
  • Sensitive to abnormalities
  • Diagnose diseases early in progression
  • Used in the prevention of disease
  • Has diagnostic as well as therapeutic applications ranging from:
    • Oncology
    • Renal
    • Cardiac
    • Pulmonary
    • And other applications, such as Graves Disease, acute cholecystitis, and gastrointestinal bleeding11

Safety of Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is an important medical tool that is safe and effective. The patient only receives a small amount of short-lived radioactive material that wears off in a matter of hours. It is just enough radioactive material to provide sufficient diagnostic information. The amount of radiation is comparable to a diagnostic x-ray (chest x-ray).12

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

For further information about this policy, contact Amy Garner (731) 541-9914.