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Nuclear Scans

Also called: Radioisotope scans, Radionuclide scans 
 
 

Nuclear scans use radioactive substances to see structures and functions inside your body. They use a special camera that detects radioactivity.

Before the test, you receive a small amount of radioactive material. You may get it as an injection. Sometimes you swallow it or inhale it. Then you lie still on a table while the camera makes images. Most scans take 20 to 45 minutes.

Nuclear scans can help doctors diagnose many conditions, including cancers, injuries, and infections. They can also show how organs like your heart and lungs are working.

 

 

 
 
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Color slide of a PET scan of a normal brain

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  • MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.

 

 

 

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.