Nuclear Medicine

SJRA Imaging Services

A nuclear medicine examination involves an injection of a radioisotope (radiopharmaceutical) into the bloodstream. Special cameras are used to detect signals given off by the radioisotope. Specially trained technologists use sophisticated computers to analyze this data to provide valuable information about the human body.

As a diagnostic tool, nuclear medicine is unique because it evaluates physiological function rather than anatomical structure. So, for example, nuclear medicine scans enable SJRA physicians to determine how much heart tissue is still alive after a heart attack, or whether a kidney is operating as an effective filter, even when there are no detectable changes in organ appearance.

A nuclear medicine examination carries no greater risk than a standard x-ray procedure. It requires only very small doses of radiation, often less than a conventional x-ray procedure.

Preparing for nuclear medicine scans

No preparation required.


> If you are allergic to eggs, you will be unable to undergo this test.

> Do NOT have anything to eat or drink six hours before your examination. The test will take approximately 4 ½ hours.

> Stop taking any of the following medications for two days prior to your test:

  • Prokinetic agents or Meds that delay gastric emptying
  • Metoclopramide (aka Maxolon, Reglan)
  • Tegaserod (aka Zelnorm)
  • Domperidone (aka Motilium, Motinorm and Costi)
  • Opiates (i.e., morphine, codeine, oxycodone, Valium)
  • Antispasmodics (i.e., Bentyl, Dicyclomine, Dibent, Di-Spaz, Baclofen, Dantrolene, Dilomine)
  • Metoclopramide
  • Cisapride
  • Domperidone
  • Ranitidine
  • Nizatidine
  • Neostigmine

Do NOT have anything to eat or drink four hours before your examination. Stop taking any pain medications (prescription narcotic) for 12 hours prior to the study.  This test may take up to four hours.

Do NOT have anything to eat or drink four hours before your examination.

No preparation required.

No preparation required.

Drink 16 oz. of water one hour prior to the procedure. You may empty your bladder.


Do NOT have anything to eat or drink one hour prior to the initial appointment.

The following medications and foods may affect your results, because of this it is recommended that you stop taking these medications for the length of time specified:

  • Radiographic contrast / Myelographic contrast – six weeks
  • Thyroid medications:
    • Thyroid hormone (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothyroxine) – six weeks
    • Amour thyroid – four weeks
    • Cytomel – two weeks
  • Anti-Thyroids (PTU Propylthiouracil, Tapazole, Perchlorate) – five to seven days
  • Topical iodine compounds – four weeks
  • Oral Iodides and medication containing iodine (all) – four weeks
    • Lugol’s solution
    • Potassium iodide
    • Kelp
    • Anti-parasitic drugs-iodochlorhydroquin
    • Anti-arrhythmic-amiodarone hydrochloride
  • Multi-vitamins only / Fish oil supplements – one week
  • Other medications – one week
    • Antihistamines
    • Cough and cold medications
    • Salicylates-large doses
    • Butazolidin
    • Acth and corticosteroids
    • Sulfonamides
    • Mercurials
  • Seafood (any type) – three to five days

All of our centers are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology.

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