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What A Person Experiences, What to Expect During a Nuclear Medicine Study

Many nuclear medicine examinations are similar and follow these general clinical guidelines:

  • Various nuclear medicine studies require special preparation before the patient arrives such as fasting or taking pharmaceutical tablets in advance of the exam examination. Patients should inquire with the imaging center or imaging department they are scheduled to visit a few days in advance of their nuclear medicine study about specific preparations they may need to follow.
  • Patient preparation involves removing any articles of clothing or jewelry that may interfere with the imaging procedure. In some cases, the patient may be asked to wear a patient gown. Before the examination, patients should inform the physician or technologist if they have any prosthetic implants in their body.
  • In all nuclear medicine studies, a pharmaceutical radionuclide is administered either orally or via injection (intravenously).
  • The type and dose of the pharmaceutical radionuclide to be administered is based on the patient's current, accurate body weight and the organ to be imaged.
  • Patients should inform the physician or technologist if they have a history of allergies and of any current medication they may be taking.
  • Diabetic patients should alert the physician or technologist of their condition.
  • Patients who are pregnant or may suspect that they are pregnant (or who are breast feeding a baby) should inform their physician before undergoing any nuclear medicine or medical imaging study.

A patient undergoing a nuclear medicine exam of the abdomen

A patient undergoes an abdominal nuclear medicine study