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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is an imaging technique that utilizes small amounts of radioactive materials. These materials are introduced into the body through injection, inhalation or by swallowing. Highly trained radiologists use advanced equipment to study how certain organs are functioning and to diagnose diseases—potentially in their earliest stages.

Experts in finding and treating disease.

Our experienced team includes three radiologists subspecialized in nuclear medicine, making them true experts in this type of imaging. Nuclear medicine can help radiologists diagnose and determine the severity of—or even treat—a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body. Eastern Radiologists interprets all procedures performed at our own outpatient imaging center in Greenville, but also a wide array of exams performed at Vidant Health and other hospital systems in the region. Then, we work with your doctor to determine the most appropriate next steps to evaluate or treat your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nuclear medicine technologists use a special camera to detect the radiation emitted from your body. A computer is used to help process the information and to enhance image interpretation by the radiologist.

The body part being scanned will be positioned close to the camera. You will be asked to hold very still while the images are obtained. There will be times during the scan when the technologist will allow you to move and relax. It may be necessary to make several images in different positions to get a complete and accurate study. Once routine views are completed, the technologist will send your images to the radiologist, who will interpret your study and may ask for extra views or even radiographs to gather as much information as possible.

Bone Scan: 45 minutes to one hour imaging time
Thyroid Scan: Approximately one hour
Liver Scan: Approximately one hour
Lung Scan: One hour
Kidney Scan: Approximately one hour
Parathyroid Scan: Approximately three hours
Hepatobiliary: At least two hours, possibly three if delayed images are made
MUGA scan: Approximately one hour and 30 minutes
Bowel Imaging: Radioactive material is injected intravenously and continuous imaging is performed for approximately an hour

Schedule an Appointment

Please have your doctor schedule your appointment for this service. If you have questions about your appointment or need to reschedule call 252.752.5000. This service is offered at the following locations:

Preparing for your appointment

*Please see the nuclear medicine patient instructions link prior to your appointment.

For any procedure, please let us know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Thyroid scan

Thyroid medication must be discontinued for at least five weeks prior to your scan. In addition, X-ray examinations using contrast materials containing iodine are prohibited for one month prior to the scan.

Liver Scan

Your abdomen should be free of barium from other radiologic studies; otherwise, no preparation is necessary.


No food or liquids for four hours leading up to the scan. Your abdomen should be free of barium from other radiologic studies.

I131 Therapy/Ablation

Consume only liquids the morning of the treatment.

Bowel Imaging

No laxatives or enemas 48 hours prior to the study. Nothing to eat or drink six hours prior to study.