Nuclear medicine

Using small amounts of radioactive material (isotopes) to produce images of the inside of your body.

Overview

Nuclear medicine is used for many types of cancers, heart disease, as well as gastrointestinal, endocrine or neurological disorders.

Nuclear medicine exams can be used to identify disease in its earliest stages. They can also be used to show whether you are responding to treatment.

Depending on the area of your body that needs to be examined, an isotope may be injected, swallowed, inhaled or given as eye drops.

A gamma camera picks up the radiation coming from your body, and creates an image which shows areas that are not functioning properly.

How does it work?

The radioactive isotope (radiotracer) accumulates in areas where there is a high level of chemical or metabolic activity – these are called 'hot spots'.

Hot spots can be used to identify uncontrolled over-production of cells caused by cancer.

If there is reduced activity in areas of your body, there will be lower amounts of radiotracer.

These 'cold spots' can be used to identify organs, glands or other parts of your body that are not functioning properly.

Examinations

We offer a wide range of nuclear medicine examinations, including these scans:

  • bone
  • cardiac myocardial perfusion
  • MIBG
  • octreotide
  • lung ventilation and perfusion
  • renal – DMSA and Mag3
  • thyroid
  • parathyroid
  • SeHCAT – bile acid malabsorption
  • sentinel node imaging

Why choose us?

  • Extensive team – our experienced nuclear medicine team works with specialists, nurses and consultants as part of multidisciplinary teams throughout the hospital.
  • GenesisCare – our partners give you access to the latest cancer diagnostics and treatment.
  • Fully equipped for severe and complex cases.
  • Central London location – easily accessible by train and The London Underground.

Our specialist consultants

"I would like to thank everyone at Cromwell Hospital for the fantastic way you looked after me. I could not fault anyone during the time I spent with you - from the point I arrived in reception, to the catering team and every member of staff throughout the changes of shift during my stay."

Anonymous, Cromwell Hospital patient

Book an appointment today

Our telephone lines are open 8am to 6pm on Saturdays, excluding bank holiday weekends.

If you need support outside these hours, please call our appointments team on 020 7460 5700. The opening hours for this phone line are 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays. Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via internet, email or telephone.