Nuclear Medicine Frequently Asked Questions
What are common procedures in nuclear medicine?
Some of the most common procedures are bone scan, Muga scan and stress test.
Will I need to do anything special before the procedure?
Each test in nuclear medicine requires special instructions. Bone scans require a patient to be well hydrated. Muga scan has no prep. Stress test requires a patient to be NPO. Some medication that you are currently on may need to be stopped for some of the test.
What is a bone scan, and how can it help me?
A bone scan is a nuclear medicine test that allows the doctors to see the skeleton in one picture. It is best used to define the anatomy such that, if there are any concerns about the bone, it can be seen.
What is a stress test of the heart?
A stress test will allow the doctors to look for arteries in the heart that may be blocked. The test will be done in a resting phase as well as an exercise phase which may require the patient to walk on a treadmill.
What is a MUGA scan?
A MUGA scan (multigated acquisition scan) is a nuclear medicine scan that evaluates the pumping action of the heart. It may be ordered by your doctor before starting any cancer treatment because the chemotherapy drug can weaken the heart wall muscle.
Will the radiation from the nuclear medicine test be harmful?
The amount of radiation exposure from a nuclear medicine test is very small, and the effects go away within hours of the test being completed.
How long should I expect to be at the hospital for a nuclear medicine test?
Most nuclear medicine tests require an injection, a wait time, then a scan time. Expect to be in the Radiology Department for 2-3 hours for a nuclear medicine test.