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HealthInfo Canterbury

Overview of nuclear medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a branch of radiology that uses small amounts of radioactive materials (called radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose or treat certain diseases or conditions.

There are many different types of radioactive materials used in nuclear medicine. Which one is used depends on the condition being treated or diagnosed. Most radioactive materials are injected into your body but some need to be swallowed or breathed in. The radiation doses are kept as low as possible.

Nuclear medicine imaging helps with diagnosing and assessing medical conditions.

Nuclear medicine therapy treats medical conditions.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical lead, Nuclear Medicine, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed February 2020.


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Review key: HISXN-86976