Nuclear Medicine (NM)
Nuclear medicine is a unique branch of medical imaging that measures physiology by administering a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer. A radiotracer uses radiation. Unlike a x-ray where radiation is passed from one side of the body to another, nuclear medicine inserts a tiny amount of radiation inside of the patient and uses a special camera to see where the radiation is deposited. The radiotracer may be injected by IV, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. With the exception of intravenous injections, nuclear medicine procedures are painless. For most exams, any radiation is gone within a day.
NEBH is primarily an orthopedic hospital. As such, a bone scan is the primary nuclear medicine test performed in our department, often for a spine problem or symptoms related to a total joint replacement. Bone scans are complementary to other imaging tests and are interpreted alongside pertinent x-rays, CT scans and MRI exams.