By: Erin O’Reilly
Uses of Nuclear medicine
Nuclear medicine can be used to find broken bones,
cancer, infections, Blood flow, Internal bleeding,
blockages, over-active/under-active thyroids, Kidney
Function, Breathing and Arthritis.
Nuclear medicine can be used to scan the Brain, Mouth,
Thyroid, Kidney, bones, Heart, Lungs, liver, spleen and
the entire body (for tumors). *check next slide for picture*
How it’s done
Radioactive material is either injected into your veins or
is given orally.
The material gathers in your organs and begins to emit
Some times the images can be taken hours after getting
the radioactivity but other times you must wait days or
A Gamma Camera can detect these rays and gives a
picture of the organs and blood flow and allows you to
watch as the organs function as opposed to an X-ray
with just a still picture.
Picture taken with nuclear medicine
Is it dangerous?
The risks are the same as a standard X-ray.
The does of radioactive material is very small and there
have been no known long term affects from nuclear
If you are pregnant it could harm the fetus so it’s best If
you don’t do it while pregnant.
In rare cases people will have allergic reactions to the
There will be minor discomfort from the needle for the
injection and possibly from lying still for a long period (45
minutes to an hour)
How it began
Radioactivity was first discovered by Henri Becquerel
and from there X-rays were discovered.
Many other discoveries about radioactivity took place
until a society of Nuclear Medicine was made.
Dr. Marshall Brucer was the first Chairman of the Oak
Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies where they discussed
the use of Radioactivity in diagnosing medical problems.
Dr. Brucer describes the first meeting: "About 10 to 15
persons highly trained in some other branch of science
tried to learn how to use radioisotopes and had a hell of
a lot of fun learning."