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Nuclear Study

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 services include: 

  • 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 embolism
  • Areas of the lung that may not be receiving enough blood 
  • Which parts of a diseased lung need to be surgically removed 

Kidney nuclear scans show: 

  • Kidney function 
  • How blood is flowing in the arteries near your kidneys 

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: 

  1. 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.) 
  2. Once inside your body, medication in the radiotracer helps it travel to the part of the body we are scanning. 
  3. The radioactive substance emits energy that we can detect using a special camera. 
  4. A highly trained technologist works the camera and a special computer to produce images that show how your organs are functioning. 
  5. The radioactive substance passes through your urine or stool (feces) a few days after the procedure. 

Contact Us 

New patients may request an appointment for a nuclear scan online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free) 


Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 08-24-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  26 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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