Nuclear Medicine

What is it?

A nuclear medicine study uses slightly radioactive materials along with a specialized camera to create images of internal organs and tissues. The radioactive material may be injected with a needle or swallowed, depending on which internal organ or structure the doctor wants to examine.

After the material has had enough time to build up in the targeted area, the person lies on a table while a specialized camera is positioned above them. The radioactive material gives off gamma rays, which are detected by the camera. The data is transmitted to a computer that translates the information into a moving image.

Who needs it?

A nuclear medicine study can help diagnose diseases and disorders affecting the nervous system, kidneys, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and blood cells, as well as cancers and Graves’ disease. This study can provide more information about the function of organs and structures than nearly any other type of imaging test.

Nuclear imaging is available by the order of a physician.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System, or any of its affiliated hospitals.