Seven Questions About Nuclear Medicine Answered

By Alyssa Speicher August 10, 2017

What is nuclear medicine? Is it safe? How does it work? Find answers to seven questions about nuclear medicine here.


If you have questions about nuclear medicine, check out this infographic answering seven questions about this division in radiology and medical imaging.

(Text only version)

Nuclear Medicine questions InfographicIf you are still curious about nuclear medicine, check out this blog post.





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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