A bone scan can look at the blood supply to the patient’s bones and, unlike an x-ray, examines the metabolism of bones, which may indicate disease.
- No preparation for the scan is required.
- The patient will be given an injection of a radioactive tracer (99mTechnetium MDP), which goes to your skeleton. Some images may be taken straight after the injection, particularly if you should query an infection, inflammation or fracture.
- The patient will be asked to return to Nuclear Med 2-5 hours later, depending on the area of interest (the smaller the bone structures are the longer the waiting period). This wait enables the tracer to be adequately taken up by the skeleton. The patient may leave the department in this time and there are no restrictions on what they can do (eg. eat, drink), the patient will be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and void their bladder before the scan.
- When the patient returns, images will be taken using a gamma camera and these images plus a written report will be sent to the referring doctor.
Used to diagnose:
The cause of bone pain
Symptom or Suspected Disease
Occult bone trauma
Arthritic changes & extent
Localise sites for biopsy of tumours
Measure extent of tumours
Identify bone pathology
Metastatic site identification