Nuclear Medicine is a very common diagnostic imaging modality, but what is it?

What Is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive tracers to image different systems in the body. It aids in safely viewing and diagnosing disease in a variety of organs.

Referrals are necessary for all bookings and Nuclear Medicine is covered by Alberta Health Care. The types of Nuclear Medicine scans at CAMIS include:

  • Bone Scan
  • Parathyroid Scan
  • HIDA Scan
  • MUGA (heart) Scan

How Does It Work?

Typically, radioactive tracers are injected into the body through a vein where they travel to the part of the body being imaged. After the injection, the patient will lie down on a table while a special camera takes pictures focusing on the specific area. The imaging aids in providing detailed information about how that organ is functioning.

Is It Safe?

Nuclear medicine procedures involve ionizing radiation. The potential risk associated with the radioactive tracers injected in nuclear medicine is small. All potential risks are weighed against the benefits of the procedure and adverse allergic reactions to the injection are rare.

How Do I Prepare for It?

For all Nuclear Medicine scans, dress comfortably with loose, easy to remove clothing. For specific patient preparation for each type of scan, read our prep sheet here.

A doctor helping a patient on to a table before a nuclear medicine procedure

Nuclear Medicine at CAMIS

At CAMIS, we want to ensure that you feel as prepared and comfortable as possible going into any appointment with us. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Nuclear Medicine manager at 403-755-8061.