First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Radioactive tracer
Radioactive tracers are used in imaging tests that help find problems inside the body. These tracers give off particles that can be detected and turned into a picture to help find problems in organs or other structures.
The tracer is usually given through an intravenous (IV) line placed in a vein. But the tracer also may be given by mouth or by inhaling it into the lungs. The tracer then travels through the body and may collect in a certain organ or area.
The types of tests that use radioactive tracers include positron emission tomography (PET) and nuclear medicine scans to look at specific organs such as the liver, lungs, kidneys, and gallbladder.
Current as of: December 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Myo Min Han MD - Nuclear Medicine & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.