Nuclear medicine

In nuclear medicine, several organs are visualised using radionuclides and examinations of organ functions can be carried out. Certain radionuclides can also be used for therapy purposes.

For diagnostics, we only use the artificially created radionuclide technetium 99m (Tc-99m) that has a very short half-life period of about 6 hours and is generally injected into a vein. Depending on the organ to be examined, it is used as aqueous pertechnate solution or fixed to certain carriers and accumulates in this organ.


The radioactive radiation emitted by the radionuclide is photographed by a special camera (gamma camera) that transforms this radiation into electrical impulses and creates an image (scintigram) or gains functional data via a computer (functional scintigraphy). In the latter case, statements about the function of an organ can be made (e.g. renal function).

Slice images can also be created to achieve particularly high resolution. For this the patient lies on the examination couch and the gamma camera's head rotates around the body section to be examined (SPECT).


Nuclear medicine


More information

We carry out the following examinations:

  • Thyroid scintigraphy
  • Kidney function scintigraphy
  • Lung perfusion and ventilations scintigraphy
  • Myocardial scintigraphy
  • Full body skeletal scintigraphy

All other diagnostic methods that are carried out using technetium labelled radiopharmaceuticals (e.g. parathyroid scintigraphy and Parkinson diagnosis).

Preparation for the examination

Normally, no special preparation is necessary for a nuclear medical examination. Some instructions have to be kept to only in case of an examination of the thyroid gland, the heart muscle and the kidneys. These instructions are stated in the special section and / or will be communicated to you when you make an appointment for the examination.

Please also bear in mind that you will have to take off interfering jewellery for example for a scintigraphy of the thyroid gland or of the skeleton. For thyroid scintigraphy, you should choose clothes that do not cover the neck.

How long does the examination take?

The duration of the examination depends on the organ to be examined and can take up to five hours.

Cardiac muscle examinations (myocardial scintigraphy) can even take up to two days (each up to 4 hours).

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