Nuclear Medicine

Wait Time Benchmarks for Nuclear Medicine (Diagnostic Imaging)

Procedure Emergency cases* Urgent cases* Scheduled cases*
Bone scan (whole body) Immediate to 24 h Within 7 days Within 30 days
FDG-PET Immediate to 24 h Within 7 days Within 30 days
Cardiac nuclear imaging (perfusion; viability; LV function)
Immediate to 24 h Within 3 days Within 14 days

* Priority or urgency levels are defined as follows:

  • Emergency = immediate danger to life, limb or organ
  • Urgent = Situation that requires an expedited nuclear medicine diagnostic study to decide on patient management
  • Scheduled = Situation involving minimal pain, dysfunction or disability (also called “routine” or “elective”)

Note: Unless specified, time refers to calendar days between decision to treat by specialist and the day treatment is received.


FDG = fluorodeoxyglucose
PET = positron emission tomography
LV = left ventricular
SPECT = single photon emission computed tomography

Related Items

Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine Website