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Nuclear Scans

Also called: Radioisotope scans, Radionuclide scans

Summary

Nuclear scans use radioactive substances to see structures and functions inside your body. They use a special camera that detects radioactivity.

Before the test, you receive a small amount of radioactive material. You may get it as an injection. Sometimes you swallow it or inhale it. Then you lie still on a table while the camera makes images. Most scans take 20 to 45 minutes.

Nuclear scans can help doctors diagnose many conditions, including cancers, injuries, and infections. They can also show how organs like your heart and lungs are working.

Start Here

  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering) Also in
  • (American Society of Radiologic Technologists) - PDF - In English and Spanish

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Health Physics Society) - PDF

Specifics

  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (Texas Heart Institute) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (American College of Radiology)
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in

Children

  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America)
  • (Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging) - PDF

Women

  • (Health Physics Society) - PDF

Patient Handouts

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