How safe is nuclear medicine and molecular imaging?
Molecular imaging procedures are noninvasive and very safe.
When used, the amount of radioactivity used in nuclear medicine procedures is very small. The radiation risk is very low compared with the potential benefits. There are no known long-term side effects from nuclear medicine procedures, which have been performed for more than 50 years. Allergic reactions may occur but are extremely rare and usually mild.
All of our nuclear medicine technologists are certified by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. These professionals will go over safety information with you before your test, such as frequently asked questions and safety guidelines by age.
Imaging agents are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Tests and procedures we offer
We provide a wide range of tests. These include:
- Bone scan: an imaging test that safely uses a very small amount of radiopharmaceutical injected into a vein to help diagnose bone problems
- Captopril renogram, which measures blood flow and blood pressure in the kidneys
- Gastric emptying study, which measures the time it takes for food to leave the stomach
- Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, which measures gallbladder blockages and function
- Liver and spleen scan: a procedure which provides information about the size of the liver along with information about liver function
- Multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan, which measures how well the heart pumps blood
- Parathyroid scan, which examines the small parathyroid glands in the neck
- Pharmacologic nuclear stress test, which measures blood flow to the heart and how well the heart pumps blood
- Renal scan, or renogram, which measures kidney function
- Thyroid uptake and scan, which measures the size, shape, and function of the thyroid
- Ventilation/perfusion lung scan, or a ventilation-perfusion (VQ) scan, which is a nuclear medicine scan that uses radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) to examine airflow (ventilation) and blood flow (perfusion) in the lungs. The aim of the scan is to look for evidence of any blood clot in the lungs, called pulmonary embolism (PE).
For further questions about any procedures listed above or any procedures not listed here, please contact the applicable Nuclear Medicine department.
- Henry Ford Hospital: 313-916-1288
- Henry Ford Macomb Hospital: 586-263-2464
- Henry Ford Medical Center - Fairlane: 313-982-4416
- Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital: 248-325-3750
- Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital: 734-246-9152