Nuclear Medicine involves using very small amounts of radioactive material (radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases and conditions.
Nuclear Medicine imaging provides unique information that cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures and has the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages. The radioactive tracers used in nuclear medicine diagnosis produce minor side effects and the process is very safe.
How Nuclear Medicine works
The radiopharmaceuticals are administered according to your study requirements. The tracer travels through the area being examined and is detected by special cameras that work with computers to provide very precise pictures of the area of the body being imaged.
Comprehensive General Nuclear Medicine
- Bone Scan for trauma, infection or skeletal metastases
- V/Q – Lung ventilation and perfusion scan
- Renal scans: MAG-3, DMSA, DTPA and Captopril Renography for renovascular hypertension
- GFR studies
- Stress/Rest Myocardial Perfusion Studies
- Thyroid scans
- Parathyroid studies
- Brain scans for perfusion, Dementia and epilepsy foci assessment.
- Gallium scans for infection and inflammation
- Lymphoscintigraphy studies (breast cancer and melanoma)
- Gastric Emptying
- Colonic transit studies
- Liver/gallbladder scan
- Gated Heart Pool scan
- Meta-lodobenzyl Guanidine (MIBG) localisation of neuroendocrine tumours
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Specialised PET Services Queensland has a comprehensive range of PET radiopharmaceuticals and imaging capabilities. Scans can be undertaken using 18-FDG, 18-FDOPA, 18-FMISO, 68-Ga-Dotatate, 68-Ga-PSMA and a number of other radiopharmaceuticals.
Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMS)
Provision of both Dual Energy Absorptiometry (DXA and peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT) services are available.
Nuclear Medicine is also used as a therapeutic procedure to treat cancer and other diseases in adults and children. The Nuclear Medicine Department at RBWH is the largest in Queensland and has a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved radiopharmaceutical laboratory onsite.
- Lu-177 Dotatate (lutate) Therapy for neuroendocrine disease (through state-wide NET service, Division of Oncology)
- I-131 Therapy for hyperthyroidism (direct referral or through Thyroid Clinic)
- I-131 Therapy for thyroid cancer (through state-wide Thyroid Cancer Clinic, Division of Oncology)
- Personalised radionuclude dosimetry
- Radiation Synovectomy (through Rheumatology)
How to access this service
You need a referral letter from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service. Please note referrals for PET scanning and radionuclide therapy will need to be provided from an appropriate medical consultant. You will receive an appointment booking letter or we will contact you to arrange a suitable time.
What to bring
- Your Medicare card
- Private health insurance card (if you have one)
- Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
- Current medications (prescription, over the counter and herbal medicine)
- Relevant x-rays, scans or any other test results or reports
- Glasses, hearing and mobility aids
- Your appointment letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- WorkCover claim number (if relevant)
- Snacks, a drink or money to buy refreshments
- Something to read or do while you wait
What to expect
Nuclear Medicine procedures generally require strict preparation prior to your test. If you are unsure or have misplaced your preparation instructions please call (07) 3646 7593.
What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
You must notify Nuclear Medicine staff before your appointment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nuclear Medicine and BMD
Location: Level 3, Ned Hanlon Building
Phone: (07) 3646 7593
Fax: (07) 3646 3502
Need help outside hours?
For out of hours support call RBWH on (07) 3646 8111
Refer a patient
To refer a patient, view the Nuclear Medicine referral guideline.
For an existing referral call 1300 364 938.