All nuclear medicine exams involve intravenous injection, inhalation and/or swallowing of specially formulated compounds (tracers) with imaging at timed intervals. Tracers are attracted to specific organs, bones or tissues in the body, which then are detectable by special types of cameras.
Reactions to these tracers are rare. The total amount of radiation a patient receives from a nuclear medicine examination is comparable to that received during a diagnostic x-ray.
Some examinations require special positioning, and most exams take one to two hours to complete though some will take longer.
Nuclear medicine testing is commonly used in children to evaluate bone pain, injuries, infection or kidney and bladder function.
Further preparations are detailed on the procedure pages linked above.