Hospitals & Services
About Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear Medicine has been around since the beginning of the 1900s and is a branch of medicine that uses radioactivity for diagnosis or therapy.
Unlike x-rays, CT and MRI scans that give structural information, Nuclear Medicine imaging demonstrates the function of an organ or organ system by monitoring the passage, accumulation or excretion of a radiopharmaceutical (a radioactive pharmaceutical).
To perform a Nuclear Medicine scan, the radiopharmaceutical is first administered to the patient, usually intravenously. Depending on the type of scan, the pictures may be taken immediately and/or after a period of time during which the pharmaceutical localises in the target organ or system.
Many injuries or disease processes tend to effect the function of an organ before the structure is altered. Nuclear Medicine plays an essential role in helping with the early diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases and conditions, which in turn can make treatment more timely and effective.
Specialist services provided by the Christchurch Hospital Nuclear Medicine Department include; Diagnostic Imaging, Radiopharmacy and Radionuclide Therapies.
How are the images taken?
Also referred to as; Nuclear Medicine Scan, Scintigraphy, Isotope Study or Radionuclide Imaging.
The Christchurch Radiology Group PET/CT scanning facility is located at Southern Cross Radiology.
Radioiodine (Iodine-131) Therapy, Strontium-89 Therapy, Phosphorus-32 Therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Referral Guidelines - Hospital, Private Specialists & GPs. Availability of procedures.