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Nuclear Medicine
Unlike x-rays that produce a structural image of an organ, nuclear medicine scans produce an image of the organís function. In other words, images produced by nuclear medicine scans tell what part of an organ is working correctly, and what part is not.

In conventional x-ray or CT exams, radiation comes out of a machine and passes through the patientís body. In nuclear medicine exams, however, a radioactive material is introduced into the patientís body, usually by injection, and is then detected by a machine.

The amount of radioactive material introduced into the body is carefully measured to reflect the patientís age, weight, and other variables, so it is very safe. Also, the radioactive material is only inside the body for a very short time because it decays rapidly. In addition, the total dose of radiation is small - similar to, and sometimes even less than, many other kinds of x-ray procedures.

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