Nuclear medicine is a radiology subspecialty using trace amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and treat many diseases. Nuclear imaging does not require surgery. Instead, it relies on radioactive drugs or radiotracers.
The radiotracer can be injected, swallowed or inhaled as a gas, depending on your test. It gives off gamma rays, which are detected by a Nuclear Medicine scanner, a special camera or a probe. Using a computer, your health care team will measure the amount of the radiotracer absorbed by the body to produce images offering details of your body to help in your diagnosis and treatment.
At St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Nuclear Medicine is used to:
• Analyze the functions of organisms such as kidney, gallbladder and lungs
• Check bones for fractures, tumors, etc.
• Visualize blood flow
• Monitor presence or spread of cancer
• Locate infection in the body
Nuclear Medicine testing area is located in the Southern Illinois Heart Institute building at the back of the hospital (340 West Lincoln Street) entrance. Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m.