Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty within the field of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat disease and other abnormalities within the body.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive and usually painless medical tests that help physicians diagnose medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the radiotracer is injected into a vein, swallowed by mouth or inhaled as a gas and eventually collects in the area of your body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form or gamma rays. This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera. This device works together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and other internal body parts.
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