Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a branch of radiology that uses low levels of radiation to make computer pictures of how organs and other body systems are working. Common uses of nuclear medicine tests are for heart, brain, lung and bone studies. Patients are given nuclear medicine drugs by nuclear medicine technologists usually through a very small needle injection in the arm but sometimes the nuclear drugs are given by mouth. There are no effects from the drugs other than allowing images to be made of certain body parts and the amount of radiation is both very low and safe. Patients usually do not have to undress for the tests that may last up to several hours. Equipment called “Gamma Cameras” look like CT scanners and have large radiation detectors that capture images. The images are read by specialized Radiologists and the results are sent to your doctor. For more information on nuclear medicine tests, please visit the Radiology Info for Patients website.

Most radiological exams require a physician referral. Physicians can call MEDULINE at 843-792-2200 or 800-922-5250 to refer a patient.