Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is the branch of radiology in which radioisotopes are introduced into the body for the purpose of imaging, evaluating organ function, or localizing disease or tumors. Radiopharmaceuticals are introduced into the patient’s body by injection, swallowing, or inhalation. The amount given is very small. The pharmaceutical part of the radiopharmaceutical is designed to go to a specific place in the body where there could be disease or an abnormality. The radioactive part of the radiopharmaceutical emits radiation, known as gamma rays (similar to x-rays), which is then detected using a special camera called a gamma camera. This type of camera allows the nuclear medicine physician to see what is happening inside your body. These images allow radiologists to diagnose the patient’s disease.