Nuclear medicine

Our nuclear medicine department provides images that show the function of organs rather than just their structure, or anatomy, as many other tests do.

Your doctor gains a great deal of valuable diagnostic information from a nuclear medicine test, and many specialists including cardiologists and oncologists utilize nuclear medicine.

In the nuclear medicine department patients receive radiopharmaceuticals (very small amounts of radioactive materials) to target certain organs. The amount of radiation is very small and is comparable with standard radiographic images (x-rays).

The staff takes images of the organ either immediately or within a few days, depending on the test. These radiopharmaceuticals are injected, inhaled or ingested orally.

Nuclear medicine procedures are non-invasive and painless.

Our highly trained staff

ETMC ‘s department includes nine nationally registered nuclear medicine technologists. The department is affiliated with the University of Arkansas, and senior-level nuclear medicine students from the university train within the department.

Preparation

Patients do not have to undress for most nuclear medicine tests. Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing is usually sufficient.

Depending on the procedure, you may be required to lie flat on the nuclear medicine table for time frames anywhere from 20-90 minutes.

All of the technologists are trained to inject their patients with radiopharmaceuticals for Nuclear Medicine procedures. In the event that an injection is necessary, any risk that one would be subject to by having an injection would apply such as an infiltrate, possible bruising, etc. These will be discussed at the time of injection. There is no reaction to the radiopharmaceutical that nuclear medicine departments utilize.