Radiation Risks for Nuclear Medicine Exams

The amount of radiation in a typical nuclear imaging procedure is comparable with what you would receive during a diagnostic x-ray. However, the potential benefit of a nuclear medicine exam far outweighs the risk.

Radiation risk varies according to your size, age, sex, body structure and make up, as well as the dose of radioactive tracer needed to complete the exam. The greatest potential risk from a procedure using radiation is the development of cancer. However, there is no evidence that a diagnostic medical procedure, like a nuclear medicine exam, has ever caused cancer. The radiation exposure during a nuclear medicine exam is so small, it can only be inferred that the exam might lead to the development of cancer.