Nuclear Medicine Imaging
Palmdale Regional Medical Center uses the advanced technology of nuclear medicine imaging to obtain detailed images of the body and identify disease. Nuclear medicine offers unique diagnostic information about the function of many organs in the body and is a way to gather medical information that may otherwise be unavailable, require surgery or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures can often identify abnormalities very early in the progression of a disease, long before some medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. This early detection allows a disease to be treated early in its course when there may be a more successful prognosis.
How Does Nuclear Medicine Work?
Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to diagnose disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attracted to specific organs, bones or tissues. The radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine emit gamma rays that can be detected externally by special types of cameras: gamma or PET cameras. These cameras work in conjunction with computers to form images that provide data and information about the area of body being imaged. The amount of radiation from a nuclear medicine procedure is comparable to that received during a diagnostic X-ray.
How Will the Radiopharmaceutical Affect Me?
The radiopharmeceutical and chemical carrier are in a solution that is similar to what is naturally in your body. Therefore, side effects or reactions to it are rare. Even though the radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine procedures are inside your body, your exposure to radioactivity is low and very safe. You would receive similar radiation doses if you were undergoing an X-ray procedure.