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Nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine enables depicting different organs and performing functional examinations through the use of radionuclides. Definite radionuclides can also serve therapy purposes.

In diagnostics, we apply only the artificially generated radionuclide technetium-99m (Tc-99m) with a half-life of 6 hours, which is very short-lived and is generally injected intravenously. Depending on the organ to be examined, it is administered as an aqueous pertechnetate solution or bound to the definite carrier substances and accumulates in this organ.


The radiation emitted by the radionuclide will be detected by a special camera (gamma camera) that converts this radiation into electrical impulses and produces an image (scintigram) or creates functional data with the help of a computer (functional scintigraphy). In the latter case, it is possible to make statements about the functioning of the organ (e.g. renal function).

In order to achieve particularly high resolution, cross-sectional images are made. The patient lies on the examination table and the head of the gamma camera rotates around the part of the body to be examined (SPECT).

Nuclear medicine


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Preparation for the examination

Usually, you do not need any special preparations for a nuclear medicine imaging. Only with the examinations of the thyroid gland, myocardial muscle and kidneys you should observe some rules that you can read in the special sections or you will be told about while making an appointment for an examination.

Please also note that you should remove your jewellery when undergoing e.g. a thyroid scintigraphy or skeletal scintigraphy. When undergoing the thyroid scintigraphy you should wear such clothing that makes your neck freely accessible.

How long does the examination take?

The examination depends on the organ to be examined and can take up to 5 hours.

The examinations of the heart muscle (myocardial scintigraphy) are even spread over two days.

Last update: June 2015
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