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Pediatric Nuclear Medicine Exam

Common Nuclear Medicine procedures include  – Gastric empty scans, Gastroesophageal reflux scans, Lung VQ (Ventilation and Perfusion) scans, Lung Perfusion scans, Renal Imaging with MAG3 or DMSA, Isotope VCUG scans, Bone scans (whole body, limited, 3-phase, or SPECT), Meckels Diverticulum scans, HIDA scans, Thyroid uptake/scans (I-123 thyroid imaging), Brain SPECT scans, MIBG scans, Octreoscans,

How Nuclear Medicine Works – Nuclear medicine exams help doctors to look at the function of organs or organ systems in the body. We use “cameras” that look like large flat plates attached to a table that are very sensitive radiation detectors that allow us to see where our Radiopharmaceuticals (medicine with a small amount of radioactive metal attached) go. The camera itself does not emit radiation for most tests. The only radiation used is a small amount in the drug administered. For most exams you will be allowed to stay in the imaging room with your child. (For exams utilizing general anesthesia we will ask that you wait in the imaging waiting room.) While some tests take a preset amount of time, many tests take a variable amount of time dependent upon how close the camera is to the patient, the small amounts of radioactivity used and variations in the exam due to specific patient conditions. Your child’s medication used is specifically adjusted to their body weight (following the recommendations from the Society of Nuclear Medicine guidelines) and radiation exposure is low.

If you are preparing for a pediatric nuclear medicine exam, take a moment to browse through these helpful links:

What to Wear

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