Nuclear Medicine Scan

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Nuclear Medicine Scan

Topic Overview

Nuclear medicine scans use a special camera (gamma) to take pictures of tissues and organs in the body after a radioactive tracer (radionuclide or radioisotope) is put in a vein in the arm and is absorbed by the tissues and organs. The radioactive tracer shows the activity and function of the tissues or organs.

Each type of tissue that may be scanned (including bones, organs, glands, and blood vessels) uses a different radioactive compound as a tracer. The tracer remains in the body temporarily before it is passed in the urine or stool (feces).

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myo Min Han, MD, MD - Nuclear Medicine
Last Revised December 10, 2010

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