Nuclear Medicine involves the use of small amounts of radioactive materials/tracers to help diagnose and treat different diseases. Nuclear Medicine exams help to determine the cause of the medical problem based on the function of the organ, tissue or bone. The other modalities within Imaging (ultrasound, CT, MRI, diagnostic x-rays) help determine the presence of disease based on the structural appearance.
Patients receive an extremely small amount of a radiopharmaceutical, just enough to provide sufficient diagnostic information. The amount of radiation from a Nuclear Medicine procedure is comparable and sometimes less than that of a diagnostic x-ray.