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Patient Preparation

• Depending on the body part to be examined, your Nuclear


Medicine
physician or our staff may provide specific instructions
on how to prepare for the examination. You should
follow these closely.

• Before your examination, a nuclear medicine


technologist or a nurse will explain the procedure to
you and answer any questions you might have.

• Tell the nuclear medicine technologist/nurse if you


have any allergies and if you are undergoing radiation
therapy because these factors may require adjustments
on how the examination is performed.

Fig 3: Bone SPECT • Be sure to tell the nuclear medicine technologist/nurse


if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding. Nuclear
medicine tests usually are not recommended for women
who are pregnant.

Fig 4: Tc-99m MAG-3


renogram of a female
patient revealing
hydronephrotic left
kidney with mildly
impaired function, without
obstruction.

After the Examination


Pte Ltd
After the examination, your scans will be reviewed by the
nuclear medicine physician, specialist in interpreting the
diagnostic medical images. Your physician will receive a 290 Orchard Road #08-06 Paragon Medical

written report of the results. Singapore 238859

After most nuclear medicine procedures it is generally For more information please contact us at:

Co. Reg. No: 200711085N


best to drink a lot of fluids and urinate as frequent as
Tel: 6836 1318 Fax: 6836 1381
you can. This helps to flush the remaining radioactivity
out of your body. The length of time you need to do this Website: www.molecularimaging.com.sg
will depend on the kind of study you had and the type of
radiopharmaceutical that was used. Email: enquiry@molecularimaging.com.sg Pte Ltd

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What is Nuclear Medicine? It can also identify site of seizures (epilepsy), Parkinson’s
disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nuclear Medicine is a branch of medicine that uses small
amounts of radioactive substances either to image the After a heart attack, nuclear medicine procedures
body and its organs or to destroy diseased cells. These can assess the damage to the heart. It can diagnose
substances consist of radionuclides, or pharmaceuticals functional significance of coronary artery disease, assess
that have been labeled with radionuclides (radiopharmac risk of future cardiac events and determine effectiveness
euticals). of revascularisation procedures (angioplasty, CABG).

Nuclear Medicine is unique because it shows how


During the Examination
organs and tissues are working. While X-rays, computed
tomography (CT), ultrasound, and magnetic resonance A tracer is administered by injecting it into a vein, taking
imaging (MRI) provide details predominantly about the it by mouth and inhaling it in aerosol form. Once given,
structure of the body and are consequently anatomically depending on the type of the scan, you may be asked to
based, nuclear medicine assesses the effects of disease on wait about 20 minutes to 2 hours. The staff will advise you
tissue function. about the nature of the scan.

For some nuclear medicine studies, imaging takes place


How Does it Work? immediately, for others, images are taken an hour, two
hours or even several days after administration of the
The technology is highly complex, but generally the
Figure 1: High resolution whole body bone scan
radiopharmceuticals. In some cases you are permitted
procedure follows these 4 basic steps:
to leave the clinic and return later for the imaging
(1) The patient is given a radioactive compound called procedure.
What Type of Diseases Can Nuclear
radiopharmaceutical which is injected, swallowed
Medicine Diagnose? Most nuclear medicine procedures require several
or inhaled. The compounds are attracted to specific
different images from different angles and the
organs, bones or tissues. Nuclear Medicine can diagnose different type of diseases.
technologist may ask you to change position during the
It can be used to identify abnormal lesions deep in the
(2) As the radiopharmaceutical travels through the body, examination. You will need to lie still during the scan.
body without exploratory surgery. The procedures can also
it gives off gamma rays (radiation) which shows the determine whether or not certain organs are functioning
location of the compound in the body. normally. For example, it can determine whether or not the
(3) Special equipment called gamma camera detects the heart is pumping blood adequately, if the brain is receiving
gamma rays and records them as flashes of light. These adequate blood supply. Nuclear medicine can evaluate
are used to create pictures of the part of the body being kidney function and any obstruction. It can also evaluate
studied. The information then records on the computer flow, function and rejection of transplanted kidney. It can
screen or on film. determine whether the stomach is emptying properly and
can detect unknown site of bleeding in bowel. Nuclear
(4) The results are interpreted by a nuclear medicine medicine can locate the smallest bone fracture before it
physician. Your personal physician will receive a report can be seen on an x-ray. It can detect and stage different
of the findings, then will advise you of the results and cancers, their spread to the bones and response to
Figure 2: Thyroid Scans
discuss what further procedures, if any are needed. treatment.
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