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Nuclear Medicine

Diagnose disease earlier to
make treatment more effective.

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What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is the imaging of organ function, not structure. Imaging function requires that images be taken while your body processes the medicine you will receive and results in exams that require one to four hours, or even multiple days, to complete. The average time for a nuclear medicine exam is two to three hours. You will be given a radiopharmaceutical. This medication is not a dye, has no side effects and does not produce allergic reactions.

A state-of-the-art upgrade to the nuclear imaging program is now fully installed at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, adding another state-of-the-art tool to aid the early detection of cancer.

Read more here!

Patient instructions

In preparation for a nuclear medicine exam, please wear comfortable clothes, follow instructions given to you by your physician, and be prepared for the exam to take several hours.

Patient instructions:
FDG - Do not eat or drink for eight hours prior to your test, with the exception of water or black coffee. Allow three hours for the exam.
NaF bone scan - Drink plenty of fluids. Expect the test to take two to three hours.
Axumin PET - Restage recurrent prostate cancer. Nothing to eat/drink four hours prior to test. Allow two hours for the exam.
PET myocardial viability - Do not eat four hours prior to the test, with the exception of water or black coffee. Allow four hours for the exam.
Detectnet Neuroendocrine scan - Requires discontinuing use of long acting somatostatin analogues for 28 days and discontinuing short acting statins for two days. Do not eat or drink for two hours prior to the test.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call 931-783-2222 to cancel your exam at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.


Do not eat or drink for six hours prior to study. The study will take up to four hours. Do not take any pain medication.


Drink plenty of fluids. Please come in at your scheduled time for the initial injection. You will need to return approximately three hours later for imaging. Expect the imaging part of the test to take about one hour.


  • Rest/stress test – Do not eat or drink for eight hours prior to the test. Also, do not have caffeine for 24 hours. Expect the test to take three to four hours.

  • Muga test – There is no prep for this test. Expect the test to take up to two hours.

  • Cardiac amyloidosis scan – Do not eat or drink two hours before this exam. This exam takes about three hours.


There is no prep for this test. Expect the test to take about two hours.


  • 123l uptake and scan – Do not eat or drink for four hours prior to your appointment and for one hour after receiving the pill. You will need to withhold thyroid medications for four to six weeks prior to the scheduled exam date. This is a two-day test. Day 1, allow 30 minutes and day 2, allow one hour for exam completion.

  • 99mTc thyroid scan – There is no prep for this test. You may expect one hour for the test.


Do not eat or drink for four hours prior to your appointment, and do not take any pain medications for six hours prior to the test. Expect the test to take two hours.


  • V/Q scan and quantitative scans – Have a chest X-ray done within 24 hours of your test.


  • No prep necessary. This test must be coordinated through surgery scheduling department.


  • Renal flow and function scan – Drink plenty of liquid. Allow one hour for exam.

  • Lasix renal scan – Drink plenty of liquid and do not take Lasix for six hours prior to test. Allow one hour for exam.

  • Captopril renal scan – Do not take blood pressure medication for 24 hours prior to test. Allow three hours for exam.


These procedures must be scheduled through Cookeville Regional Cancer Center.

  • 1-131 thyroid ablation for thyroid cancer

  • 1-131 whole body thyroid cancer scan

  • 10131 therapy for hyperthyroidism

  • Ra-223 therapy for prostate cancer that has spread to the bones


Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging.

A non-invasive test, PET/CT accurately images metabolic information in the body, allowing physicians to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment and track progress.


There is a new imaging technique for prostate cancer that locates cancer lesions using a PET-sensitive drug that has been FDA approved.

This is called F-18 Piflufolastate (Pylarify). This agent is used to detect tumors in the prostate, lymph nodes, bones and other organs.

This agent uses a Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen that is highly sensitive and specific for detecting prostate cancer. It has been approved for use in men who fall into the high or very high risk category for prostate cancer, as determined by their physician. It is also approved for use in men who have suspected recurrent prostate cancer after treatment.

This agent attaches to the Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen, a protein that is found on more than 90 percent of prostate cancer cells.

This entire exam requires approximately three hours to complete, but only a short scan time of 20-30 minutes.

How will I get my results?

An interpreting physician (usually a radiologist) will read your exam and make a final diagnosis. Your provider should present the findings of your exam to you. You may also sign up for a patient portal account at to read your results online.