Nuclear studies at the Wake Forest Heart & Vascular Center
combine the expertise of our radiology team with registered technicians and
sonographers who provide timely and accurate nuclear scans.
Nuclear study is an imaging technique. It uses trace amounts of a radioactive
substance and special cameras to look at the structure and function of an
organ, tissue or system of the body. Nuclear studies, also known as scans, help
detect medical problems in their earliest stages.
New patients may request a nuclear study online.
Nuclear Study at Wake Heart & Vascular Center
An accurate diagnosis is the first step to an effective,
personalized treatment plan for your vascular or heart condition. Highlights of our nuclear study
- Expertise: Our team of diagnostic
radiologists includes experts in nuclear medicine. Our technicians and
sonographers are registered or certified in their field of practice and have
received special training in nuclear study.
- Seamless Care: Our radiologists work closely
with technicians and sonographers to make sure your scan is comprehensive. They
also actively communicate with your treatment team to interpret your tests and help
decide on the best treatments for your condition.
- Safety: A nuclear scan may sound scary, but it’s
actually very safe. We use a small amount of radiation, and all of our
equipment meets or exceeds safety regulations.
Nuclear scans we perform include:
- Heart scans
- Lung scans
- Kidney scans
What is a Nuclear Scan?
Nuclear scans look beyond the appearance and structure of your
organs. They provide detailed images that help doctors check whether those
organs working properly. This information can help us determine the source of
your symptoms and make decisions about the best way to treat them.
Heart nuclear scans show:
- How blood is flowing to the heart
- Which areas of your heart may be damaged
- How well your heart pumps blood to the rest
of your body
- If there is any abnormal movement of blood
between the your heart’s chambers (ventricles)
Lung nuclear scans show:
- If a clot is preventing blood flow to part of
the lung (pulmonary
- Areas of the lung that may not be receiving
- Which parts of a diseased lung need to be
Kidney nuclear scans show:
- Kidney function
- How blood is flowing in the arteries near
Nuclear Scans: What to Expect
Nuclear scans are a nonsurgical method to explore medical problems
deep within the body. Unlike other imaging techniques, which place small
amounts of radiation outside your body, nuclear scans put trace amounts of
radiation inside your body to help create pictures of your tissues and organs.
There are no known long-term side effects from such a low dose exposure.
Here’s how a nuclear scan works:
- Shortly before the procedure, we will give
you a combination of medication and trace amount of radioactive substance
called a radiotracer. (Depending on the part of the body we are scanning, we
will give you the radiotracer either by injection or inhalation.)
- Once inside your body, medication in the
radiotracer helps it travel to the part of the body we are scanning.
- The radioactive substance emits energy that we
can detect using a special camera.
- A highly trained technologist works the
camera and a special computer to produce images that show how your organs are
- The radioactive substance passes through your
urine or stool (feces) a few days after the procedure.
New patients may request
an appointment for a nuclear scan online. Or, for more
information, please call:
- 336-716-WAKE or