Nuclear Medicine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is Nuclear Cardiac Scanning (Stress Testing)?

Nuclear Cardiac Imaging, also called a Nuclear stress test, is a type of imaging that shows the flow of blood through a patient’s heart, following an injection of a radiopharmaceutical substance or tracer. During imaging, specialized images of the heart and the distribution of this tracer are obtained. When you visit you may have an Exercise Stress Test (exercise on a treadmill) or a Pharmaceutical Stress Test (medicine used to replicate the effects of being on a treadmill) combined with the imaging.


What will a Nuclear Scan tell me?

Nuclear scans can diagnose a number of medical conditions such as cancers, heart disease, and other conditions. The most common scans include:

  • Thyroid scans – to evaluate thyroid function and better evaluate nodes or masses.
  • Bone scans – to evaluate degenerative or arthritic changes in the joints, detect bone diseases and tumors, and/or determine the cause of bone pain or inflammation.
  • Heart scans – used to identify abnormal blood flow to the heart or to determine the extent of the damage of a heart muscle following heart attack.
  • Hepatobiliary – used to evaluate the function of the gallbladder

When will I know the results?

The radiologist will study your films and report the findings to the referring physician within 24 hours. Your referring physician will discuss the Nuclear Medicine results with you.

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