These detailed images are developed when a gamma camera, a specialized camera encased in metal, takes pictures of energy released by a radioactive substance. A computer helps create the images from the data, making it possible to study both anatomy and function within the body. This branch of radiology is commonly used to study:
- Kidney function
- Blood flow to the heart
- Bone irregularities
- Thyroid function
Nuclear medicine testing is performed at Lexington Medical Center using state-of-the-art equipment and includes a full array of diagnostic procedures including nuclear cardiology, gall bladder evaluations, bone scans, H. pylori tests and radioiodine therapy, among others.
How do I prepare?
Different tests require different preparations. You may be asked to skip a meal if your stomach is being imaged or you may be asked to drink plenty of liquids. Please check with your physician’s office for the appropriate preparation for your test or call the Radiology Department at (803) 791-2460.
What should I expect?
During the noninvasive exam, a very small amount of radiopharmaceutical is ingested orally or intravenously. Imaging is done either immediately, two to four hours later, days later or during a combination of several sessions.