About Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine sees bodily function rather than anatomy.
They can be useful in finding problems that are not obvious by looking at the structure of an organ or tissue. This is done with the use of small amounts of radioactive materials, also known as tracers. Each tracer is designed to be attracted to specific organs or types of body tissue. Special cameras that can map the distribution of the radioactive tracer create images which are studied by radiologists.
Nuclear medicine scans are very safe. Nuclear medicine has been used in newborns and children for more than four decades and even longer in adults. There are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exams.
About Bone Scans
A bone scan is a nuclear medicine exam in which the patient receives an injection of a radioactive tracer that is attracted to bone. The injection is followed by a scan of the skeleton. Bone scans are used to identify changes in the bone metabolism that may indicate a problem.
Bone scanning is useful in diagnosing a number of benign orthopedic conditions as well as for checking the spread of cancer. When someone suffers from bony pain or a fracture is suspected and x-rays are normal, a bone scan may be performed to further investigate the problem. Bone scans may identify fractures, areas of abnormal growth, arthritis, tumors and infections that won’t show up on an x-ray.
The exam is performed at the following Radiology Imaging Associates partner hospitals in the Denver, Colorado area:
- Medical Center of Aurora
- Littleton Adventist Hospital
- Porter Adventist Hospital
- Sky Ridge Medical Center
- Swedish Medical Center