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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine scans use tiny amounts of radioactive materials (isotopes), a special camera and a computer to create images from various parts of the body. Types of nuclear medicine scans include:

What to Expect

Your child may receive isotope injection by either mouth or bladder. Depending on the type of scan, we may also have to insert a small catheter into your child's bladder, so your child may experience some discomfort.

Your child may need to be sedated. Learn more about sedation and how to prepare for your child's medical imaging procedure.

A special camera and computer create images of the area within your child's body that the doctor needs to see.

Most visits take up to three hours since many of these exams require several pictures to be taken at different times.

After the Exam

Isotopes are normally excreted via the kidneys or through stool and are gone from your child's system within three days. Your referring physician typically receives results within 48 hours of the exam.


Since the 1950s, nuclear medicine has been a specialty for Lurie Children’s, with the hospital's pediatric radiologists pioneering procedures that today are commonplace in pediatric nuclear settings throughout the world.

Our radiologists, all certified by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, have developed a dosing regimen that keeps administered radiation doses at the absolute minimum necessary to obtain the required diagnostic results. Learn more about our leadership role in the Image Gently campaign.

Contact Us

Call our team at 312.227.4500 with any questions or concerns.

Requesting Medical Records

Click here to access portions of your child's electronic medical record online or request printed medical records by fax, mail or in person, and read frequently asked questions about the process.

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