A bone scan can be used to look at the functioning of the patient’s bones and, unlike an X-ray, examines the metabolism of the patient’s bones, which may indicate disease:
- No preparation for the scan is required. Patient to please bring along any previous x-rays and bone scans.
- The patient will be injected with a radioactive tracer (99m Technetium MDP), which goes to your skeleton. Some images may be taken right after the injection, particularly the study is looking for an infection, inflammation or fracture.
- The patient will be asked to return to Nuclear Med approximately 2-5 hours later, depending on the area of interest (the smaller the bone structures 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 next 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:
Staging of cancer
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