Nuclear medicine involves using very small amounts of radioactive tracer (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 no side effects and the process is very safe and painless.
How Nuclear Medicine works
The radiopharmaceuticals are injected into the bloodstream, inhaled or swallowed. 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
- Myocardial Perfusion Studies
- V/Q – Lung ventilation and perfusion scan
- Bone scan
- Thyroid scans
- Parathyroid scans
- Liver/gallbladder scans
- Brain scans (cerebral perfusion studies)
- Gallium scans
- Gated Heart Pool scan
- Gastric emptying studies
- Colonic transit studies
- Renal scans: MAG-3, DMSA, DTPA
- GFR studies
- Lymphoscintigraphy: Sentinel Node, Lymph flow.
Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD)
Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is available.
Refer a patient
To refer a patient to this service, view the medical imaging request form for The Prince Charles Hospital, or call the Medical Imaging department on (07) 3139 6664 or fax (07) 3139 4253. View the Nuclear medicine referral guideline.
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 aids 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 of what to do, or have misplaced your preparation instructions, please call (07) 3139 4251. Most Nuclear Medicine procedures are lengthy, so allow for the appropriate time, especially if you have other appointments or need special transport arrangements.
Frequently asked questions
You must notify Nuclear Medicine staff if you are pregnant, or if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant. Any radiation you receive may be harmful to your unborn child, especially during the first trimester (3 months) of your pregnancy. It may be necessary to obtain a pregnancy blood test prior to commencing the scan.
You must notify Nuclear Medicine staff before your appointment if you are breastfeeding as it may be necessary to suspend breastfeeding for a period after your scan.
The results will be available to the doctor(s) who referred you for the test. If this was not your GP, then your GP can ring the Medical Imaging typists on (07) 3139 4731 to get your results.
Location: Ground floor, Main Building, The Prince Charles Hospital
Phone: (07) 3139 4555
Fax: (07) 3139 4860
Open: Monday-Friday 7.30am-5.00pm
Need help outside hours?
For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.
In an emergency call 000.
Refer a patient
GPs and specialists can refer a patient by sending requests directly on The Prince Charles Hospital referral form via fax (07) 3139 4860 or viewing the nuclear medicine referral guideline.