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A 35-year-old member asked:

how does nuclear medicine do a bone scan?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. TAPAN CHAUDHURI
Nuclear Medicine 55 years experience
Very simple: 2 types of bone scans - (1) whole body bone scan (wbbs) & (2) three phase bone scan. In either case you get an injection of a radioactive material and lay under a gamma camera for 45 min. And an image of your bone is produced. In wbbs (done for cancer metastases), you return 2 hours after injection. The 3-phase bone scan (done for infection), pictures are taken during & 15 min after injection.
Dr. Robert Carroll
Nuclear Medicine 53 years experience
Whole body or PET-CT: Bone seeking radiopharmaceuticals distribute in proportion to local bone metabolism. Phosphate compounds labelled with technetium 99m are most commonly used. A whole body image is obtained front and back while the patient lies flat on a long table. Flourine 18 can also be used with positron emission tomography volumetric imaging for more precise imaging in conjunction with ct.
Dr. Guido Davidzon
Nuclear Medicine 18 years experience
Tc-99m-MDP Bone Scan: Bone scan often provides an earlier diagnosis and demonstrates more lesions than are found by radiographic procedures.Tc-99m-mdp (methylene diphosphonate) is a bone seeking agent that concentrates in the mineral phase of bone. 2-3 hours after injection, 50%-60% of the activity localizing in bone and the remainder is cleared by the kidneys. F18-naf bone scans are done with pet cameras, r + expensive.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Isotope injection: Radiotracer technetium 99m mehylene diphosphonate or similar agent is injected intravenously to be transported by blood stream to the bones. Full skeletal deposition usually takes 2 to 3 hours. This agent goes where there is increased bone metabolism or repair of bone, such as fractures, tumors, arthritis, and infection. It detects subtle changes, sometimes not noticed on routine imaging.

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Last updated Feb 25, 2017

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