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About Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine exams image bodily function rather than anatomy.

They can be useful in finding problems that are not obvious by looking at the structure of an organ or tissue. This is done with the use of small amounts of radioactive materials, also known as tracers. Each tracer is designed to be attracted to specific organs or types of body tissue. Special cameras that can map the distribution of the radioactive tracer create images which are studied by radiologists.
Nuclear medicine scans are very safe. Nuclear medicine has been used in newborns and children for more than four decades and even longer in adults. There are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exams.

About Gastric Emptying Scans

A gastric emptying scan is a nuclear medicine exam in which the patient eats or drinks a radioactive meal followed by multiple scans of the stomach over time. The meal may either be solid (usually scrambled eggs with toast for adults and older children), or it may be liquid (usually milk or formula for infants and younger children). The scans are analyzed to determine the amount of time it takes the stomach to empty after a meal. Gastric emptying scans are used to diagnose movement disorders of the stomach, gastroesophageal reflux, and aspiration.

Exam Locations

The exam is performed at the following Radiology Imaging Associates partner hospitals in the Denver, Colorado area:

  • Medical Center of Aurora
  • Littleton Adventist Hospital
  • Porter Adventist Hospital
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center
  • Swedish Medical Center
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