|Scheduling number: 719-526-7350
|What is Nuclear Medicine?
|Nuclear medicine is an
imaging modality that is used to diagnose and treat medical
conditions by looking at the structure and function of the organs,
tissues or bones. This is accomplished by the use of small
amounts of radioactive materials (also called tracers) that are
given to the patient and are detected by a gamma camera.
|Due to the sensitivity
of nuclear medicine exams, we often identify
abnormalities very early in the disease process long before medical
problems are detected with other diagnostic tests.
|If the doctor wishes
then we can augment the sensitivity of the nuclear medicine exams by
acquiring a CT scan at the same time as your nuclear medicine exam.
By fusing the CT and nuclear medicine studies together, we are able
to increase the overall specificity of your exam. We are the
only radiology department in the state of Colorado and 1 of 30 in
the whole country that is able to do this with a 16 slice SPECT/CT
|How do I prepare for my Nuclear
|Below are some of the
exams performed here and their required preparation. If your exam
is not listed or you have further questions please contact us at
MYOCARDIAL PERFUSION IMAGING
(CARDIOLITE STRESS TEST, MIBI, LEXISCAN, ADENOSINE STRESS TEST,
TREADMILL STRESS TEST)
|This exam is protocoled by our radiologist before being scheduled.
Depending on the radiologist's recommendations this exam could consist of 1
early morning appointment that lasts 3-4 hours or 2 appointments on 2
consecutive days that last 2-3 hours each. Upon your arrival an IV will be
started on you so we can administer our tracers and possibly a
pharmaceutical later in the morning that will simulate your heart being
Some rules that should be followed before your exam are listed below.
Failure to follow these rules could result in your appointment being
rescheduled or a non-diagnostic study.
- Do not consume food or beverages containing caffeine or nicotine for at
least 24 hours before your exam.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam
- If you are diabetic please inform the technologist.
- Per the Department of Internal Medicine, do not take any over the counter
drugs or prescription medications containing caffeine, theophylline or beta
blockers at least 24 hours before your exam.
- If you have any concerns about your medications please check with the
physician that ordered your study.
(3 PHASE BONE SCAN, BONE SPECT)
This exam consists of 2 appointments. At the first appointment
you will be injected with a small amount of tracer that will go to
all of your bones. This appointment takes approximately 15
After the first appointment, you will be asked to return 3-4 hours
later to have more pictures taken. The return time is
dependent on what part of the body we are scanning. This
second appointment lasts 1-1.5 hours.
There is no preparation for this exam but we will ask you to drink
lots of fluids (48 ounces) and use the restroom as often as possible between
your first and second appointment.
BONE DENSITOMETRY (DEXA)
This appointment lasts
approximately 15-20 minutes and does not require an injection.
We will be taking pictures of your lower back and your hip. If
we are unable to take a picture of one of these body parts then we
might substitute it with your forearm.
Please do not wear any pants with zippers or metal buttons.
Your shirt should also be absent of any metal buttons or zippers.
(HIDA SCAN, GALLBLADDER STUDY)
|This exam lasts
approximately 2-2.5 hours. You are allowed to bring something
to listen to music on during your exam.
When you arrive for your exam we will start an IV in your arm so we
can inject the necessary medications to help us determine the
function of your hepatobiliary system.
Some rules that should be followed before your exam are listed
below. Failure to follow these rules could result in your
appointment being rescheduled or a non-diagnostic study.
There are no side effects from the tracer that we use for this exam.
Sometimes there are side effects from the Kinevac (CCK) that we use
to help in our diagnosis of the function of your hepatobiliary
system. These side effects include abdominal discomfort or
pain, nausea and vomiting but some patients do not experience any
side effects at all.
- Do not consume food or beverages after midnight the night before your exam but at least within 18 hours
before your exam.
- If you have to take medications, please take them with minimal
amounts of water and avoid dairy products.
- When scheduling the exam please inform the technologist of any
pain medications you might be taking. You might have to
discontinue use for up to 6 hours before the exam or it could result
in a non-diagnostic study.
THYROID UPTAKE AND SCAN
(I123 UPTAKE AND SCAN)
|This exam consists of 3
separate appointments. At the first appointment you will be
required to swallow some pills that contain I-123. This is the
tracer that our cameras will detect in your thyroid gland.
The second appointment is approximately 6 hours after your first
appointment. We will take pictures to determine how much of
the I-123 pills was actually absorbed by the thyroid gland.
This appointment takes about 45 minutes.
The third appointment takes place 24 hours after you had swallowed
the I-123 pills. We determine how much of the I-123 remains in
your thyroid gland which only takes about 10-15 minutes.
The following is a list of general rules for this exam.
You should also follow the instructions on the information sheet that was
given to you when you made your appointment. Failure to follow
these rules could result in your appointment being rescheduled or a
- 3-4 weeks before the first appointment: No x-ray procedures
involving iodine contrast (CT, IVP, etc.)
- 2 weeks before the first appointment: No oral iodines (Lugol's
solution, vitamins containing iodine, etc.)
- 2 weeks before the first appointment: No iodized salt, seafood,
seaweed and kelp products, milk/dairy products, eggs and chocolate
- 3 days before the first appointment: No antithyroid meciations (Propylthiouracil,
Methimazole, PTU, Carbimazole)
- Day of first appointment: Nothing to eat or drink 1 hour before
your first appointment and 1 hour after your first appointment.
This exam takes approximately 4 hours. You are allowed to bring a book to read or something to listen to music on
during your exam. At your appointment you will be fed a small
meal consisting of a hard boiled egg, 2 pieces of bread, jelly and some water. The egg contains a small amount of tracer that is detected by our
cameras. If you have
dietary restrictions due to food allergies (e.g.
celiacs) please inform us when you make your appointment so we can address those
issues before your exam.
If you are diabetic we ask that you bring
your glucose monitoring equipment with you so you can check your glucose levels
before, after and possibly during the exam. Also if you are taking insulin, please bring your regular
morning dose of insulin with you.
- You should have nothing to eat or drink
after midnight the night before the exam.
- The following medications should be stopped 2 days before your exam but
this should be discussed with the ordering physician. These medications
include but are not limited to: Reglan (metoclopramide), Pro-Banthine
(Propantheline), Imodium (Loperamide), Lomotil (Diphenoxylate), Motilium
(domperidone), Opioids (e.g. Demerol, Codeine, Morphine, Oxycontin,
Percodan, Percocet), Erythromycin, Tranquilizers (e.g. Valium, Librax,
Ativan, Thorazine) and Antispasmodics (e.g. Bentyl, Donnatal, Lavsin and
Robinul). You should also not take any laxatives the day before your exam
or the day of your exam.
- Laxatives should be discontinued the day before your exam and any time
during your exam.
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol the morning of your exam
||This study consists of
2 separate appointments. At the first appointment you will be
injected with a tracer and images of your parathyroid gland will be
obtained. The injection is like us drawing blood but instead
of us taking blood, we will be giving you a small amount of the
tracer that will go to your parathyroid gland.
The second appointment takes place 3 hours after you were injected
and lasts 1-1.5 hours.
There is no special prep required for this exam.