Diagnostic Imaging Department

Nuclear Medicine

What is Nuclear Medicine?

It is a medical imaging technology to view and analyze the function of different organs such as: bones, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, thyroid, digestive system etc.

It is used for the detection of different disease to look at the progression or regression and sometimes treatment of some diseases.

The examination is called scintigraphy or scan. There is a small amount of a radioactive tracer (also called radioactive isotope) which is injected in a vein of the arm. For some procedures it is inhaled or ingested. There are different products for different organs.

The product will circulate in your body and will concentrate in the organ to be examined.

For some procedures imaging will start immediately after the injection, for others there will be a waiting period. The gamma radiation is coming from the organ and is detected by the gamma camera. The computer gives us an image which is analyzed by a nuclear medicine physician.

Before the exam

Inform the technologist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding


The exam is painless.

There is no preparation for most exams.

You will be given instructions when we book the appointment.

The day of the exam

Report to the main entrance of the McConnell site, at 840 McConnell

You must stay still during the exam.

Remove all metal objects. Wear comfortable clothes.

The camera will be placed very close to you.

The camera may move slowly from head to toe or around the organ to be examined.

The time varies from 10 minutes to one hour for each visit.

The follow up visit are hours later or days later depending on the exam.

After the exam

The Nuclear medicine physician will analyze the images and a written report will be sent to the requesting physician and/or your doctor.

The radioactive product will naturally flush out of your system.

No after effects are expected you can resume normal activities.

(If you plan on going to the United States after the exam please request a note for the border agents from your technologist.)

The following are some specific instructions for some of the test done at Cornwall Community Hospital:

Nuclear Medicine Preparations

General Preparation for Every Patient

Note: We do not use a dye

  • void (empty bladder, change diaper or empty catheter bag)
  • remove all metal objects
  • if patient can’t weight bear: they MUST BE ON A STRETCHER (the table in Nuclear Medicine cannot be lowered)
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding are relative contraindications for the scans

Cardiovascular Perfusion Procedures:

  • no caffeine 24hrs prior to nuclear exercise
  • no caffeine for 24 hrs prior to Persantine stress test
  • your doctor will tell you if you have to stop some medications

No Preparations or Side Effects for the Following Procedures:

  • Bone scan
  • Gallium scan
  • Liver/Spleen scan
  • MUGA scan
  • Renal scan
  • Parathyroid scan
  • Thyroid
  • V/Q (lung scan)

BMD (DPX or Bone Mineral Density):

Only 1 every 3 years is covered by OHIP

  • no barium studies or other nuclear exams two weeks prior
  • no under wire bras
  • no buttons or zipper

Preparation for RENAL Scan:

  • Drink approximately 2 glasses of fluid prior to the test.
  • Go to the washroom as often as required, and just prior to the test.


  • Cardiovascular Perfusion, nuclear exercise or persantine
  • Biliary scan, Hida scan (and no morphine 4hrs prior)
  • Lower GI Bleed scan
  • Meckel’s scan

Some medications have to be stopped for the following procedures. Have your list when you call us for your appointment.

THYROID (scan, uptake or therapy)

  • Stop synthroid for 4 weeks
  • Stop other thyroid medications 1 week

RENAL “Captopril”

  • Some medications have to be stopped for 3 days

To contact us:

Phone: 613-936-4653

Fax: 613-936-4620

Booking appointments are given between 7h30 to 15h00

Monday to Friday with the exception of statutory holidays

Please, leave a message.