Seven Nuclear Medicine Questions Answered

This article answers some of the most common questions about Nuclear Medicine

Want a thorough overview of nuclear medicine? Still have questions like, “Is it safe?” or “How does it work?” Read on to find answers to seven Common nuclear medicine questions.


If you have questions about nuclear medicine, check out this infographic answering seven nuclear medicine questions:

(Text only version)

An infographic answering the most common questionsIf you are still uncertain about the safety of nuclear medicine, feel free to contact us with any further nuclear medicine questions. At UVA, we always want our patients to be confident in the care they are receiving.





Infographic Text: 7 Questions About Nuclear Medicine (Answered)

  1. How does nuclear medicine work? Radiation is administered INSIDE the body. Nuclear medicine uses radiotracers to read the radiation inside you from the outside of you. Radiotracers can come in the form of an injection, a pill, or a gas.
  2. How do radiotracers work?  The radiotracer travels to the part of your body that needs to be imaged. Radiotracers are naturally absorbed or expelled by the body.
  3. If the radiation is inside of me, what do the scanners do? A scanner is used to read the radiotracer to make the images. Either a gamma camera or a PET will read the radiotracer without using any more radiation than what is already inside.
  4. What is the advantage of nuclear medicine? Nuclear medicine images show structure AND function! From nuclear medicine images, a radiologist can see both how the organs look and how they work!
  5. What can nuclear medicine diagnose and treat? Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, abnormal lesions, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, transplanted organ tissue, and heart, brain, and organ function.
  6. Why would I want nuclear medicine? Nuclear medicine can detect disease early — before you even have symptoms — while disease is most treatable.
  7. Is it safe? Nuclear medicine is totally safe! You only receive as much radiation as the doctors put into the radiotracers, and it’s not enough to hurt you.

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