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Doctor insights on: Abnormal Bone Scan Results

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What do bone scan results tell you?

What do bone scan results tell you?

Hot spot, cold spots: The radiologist looks for evidence of abnormal bone metabolism on the scans. These show up as darker "hot spots" and lighter "cold spots" where the tracers have or haven't accumulated.

Although a bone scan is very sensitive to abnormalities in bone metabolism, it's less helpful in determining the exact cause of the abnormality. ...Read more

Bone (Definition)

Bone is a living growing tissue made mostly of collagen (protein that provides soft framework) & the mineral calcium phosphate that adds strength & hardens the framework. Two types of bone are found in the body; cortical (dense compact outer layer) & trabecular (makes up inner layer, ...Read more


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What can I do if my latest bone scan shows results in both focal and linear areas, what is the difference?

What can I do if my latest bone scan shows results in both focal and linear areas, what is the difference?

Many possibilities.: It depends why you had your bone scan done. Focal lesions means "localized" and can have various shapes (circular, linear.) and various localizations. A linear lesion usually means a fracture or compression such as seen in the vertebral column. These are two different descriptive terminologies. Again, it should be easier to respond to your answer if we had the results of your scan. Good luck. ...Read more

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I took a bone scan almost 10years ago and the result was osteoperenia eventhough I always drink milk since my childhood. What are the causes of it?

I took a bone scan almost 10years ago and the result was osteoperenia eventhough I always drink milk since my childhood. What are the causes of it?

Keep drinking milk: There are many causes for osteopenia and they can include chronic diseases, smoking, low vitamin D levels and low physical activity. Calcium and vitamin D are found in milk but you may still need more than what you can drink in milk alone. If you are concerned I would recommend talking to your doctor to see if you need to recheck your bone density or not- especially if you have risk factors. ...Read more

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I had a bone scan done recently I'm trying to see what results mean the findings say homogenous uptake throughout skeleton seen what does it mean?

I had a bone scan done recently I'm trying to see what results mean the findings say homogenous uptake throughout skeleton seen what does it mean?

Homogenous = normal: The term "homogenous" means something similar to consistent or equal. If there is homogenous uptake throughout the skeleton it means there are no abnormal areas of "high uptake" or "hot spots" such as bone cancers.
Therefore, homogenous uptake in the skeleton is considered normal. Still, have a discussion with the doctor who ordered the scan as they will have a better understanding of your case. ...Read more

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Prostte cancr. Bone scan result. Intense increased activity throghot right ischium increase inferiority in left ischium at ischiopubic obscure blader?

Prostte cancr. Bone scan result. Intense increased activity throghot right ischium increase inferiority in left ischium at ischiopubic obscure blader?

Metastatic?: Suspicious for metastatic prostrate cancer to the bone. Any correlative x-ray studies, such as a plain film of the pelvis? What is the PSA result? Is the alkaline phosphatase elevated? Any pain? Hope this helps. ...Read more

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No prostate, PSA increasing 1/14:. 13, 9/14:. 3, 11/24/14:. 6 Bone scan done results 12/8, what are the next steps if scan is positive for mastesisis (sp?

Prostate Carcinoma: A rising PSA is concerning for metastatic disease and yes a bone scan is in order. Painful bone metastases can commonly be treated successfully with external beam radiation therapy. Zoledronic acid (Zometa) is a bisphosphonate that can delay the onset of complications associated with prostate cancer bone metastases and relieve pain. Speak with your oncologist. ...Read more

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I had tkr feb. 2012, had issues since, had bone scan monday, sept 9. Results were possible infection, loosening, or trauma. Please help me understand.

I had tkr feb. 2012, had issues since, had bone scan monday, sept 9. Results were possible infection, loosening, or trauma. Please help me understand.

Osteomyelitis: A bone scan may only reveal metabolic/physiologic changes in the area and not yield a specific diagnosis, but is suggestive of infection, as is loosening of the tkr. If you are only seeing the orthopedist would strongly suggest you request a consult with an infectious diseases expert. This is potentially very serious and will require both to resolve the issue if it is infected. Go soon. Good luck. ...Read more

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Question-results of a total body bone scan- the remainder of the axial and appendicular skeleton is without increase in activity. What is the meaning?

Question-results of a total body bone scan- the remainder of the axial and appendicular skeleton is without increase in activity. What is the meaning?

Rest of bones normal: Wording of "remainder" in report strange unless it initially mentioned in report some abnormality. The entire skeleton consists of appendicular and axial skeleton. ...Read more

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Mri shows three lobulations in bone above knee. Bone scan says everything ok. How could mri and bone scan show two different results?

Mri shows three lobulations in bone above knee. Bone scan says everything ok. How could mri and bone scan show two different results?

Different studies: The meaning of "lobulations" in the bone on an MRI study is uncertain. This may mean an osteophyte, cortical thickening, old trauma, a normal variant, or something else. The bone scan measures bone chemistry and activity such as repair of the bone. When the bone scan is normal with these findings on MRI, it means normal bone chemistry, and indicates a non serious problem. ...Read more

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I've read that barium or bismuth (even pepto-bismol) can interfere with bone scan results. Do they tend to cause false positives or false negatives?

I've read that barium or bismuth (even pepto-bismol) can interfere with bone scan results. Do they tend to cause false positives or false negatives?

Barium: If barium has been ingested prior to bone scan it can cause attenuation of photons and thus focally decreased areas of tracer uptake on bone scan. This can give a false representation of tracer distribution. ...Read more

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Can the results of a bone scan of hips show the difference between cancer that has spread or if it is stress reaction?

Can the results of a bone scan of hips show the difference between cancer that has spread or if it is stress reaction?

Not alone.: A nuclear medicine bone scan reveals only bone turnover activity. This can come from several causes such as trauma, degenerative change and tumor. While the scan may give some hints such as distribution of "hot" areas other studies will be needed to determine the cause. ...Read more

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If I have a CT scan w/contrast done on Thursday and bone scan done the following Monday will the contrast effect bone scan results? If so how?

If I have a CT scan w/contrast done on Thursday and bone scan done the following Monday will the contrast effect bone scan results? If so how?

Probably not: CT scan is an IV contrast to arterial vessel of organs.
Bone scan uses a radioactive tracer to look for abnormalities in the bone.
They are 2 different substances. ...Read more

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I have severe pain behind my knee. I can't straighten it without pain, pain is worse at night. Have had MRI and bone scan that came abnormal. Biopneg?

I have severe pain behind my knee. I can't straighten it without pain, pain is worse at night. Have had MRI and bone scan that came abnormal. Biopneg?

Hard to say: Hard to say based upon your note. Was the MRI normal or abnormal? If it was abnoal, it should give a good idea of what the problem is. If it was normal, other sources of pain in that area such as neurological or vascular conditions should be sought. ...Read more

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Nuclear bone scan: can pepto bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) cause false positive results? False negative results? How likely @ just normal dose pepto (~1000 mg over 2 hours)?

Yes: Pepto bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) contains bismuth which can block the gamma ray photons which form the bone scan image. As a result bones of the lumbar spine or pelvis can show areas of diminished activity (cold spots) on images acquired from the front (anterior) due to bismuth in the bowel. Routine instructions advise against taking pepto bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) for a week before the bone scan. ...Read more

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Painful spot on spine @ thoraco-lumbar junction. No radiating or deferred pain, or numbness. MRI & Bone Scan results normal. Myofascial trigger point?

Painful spot on spine @ thoraco-lumbar junction. No radiating or deferred pain, or numbness. MRI & Bone Scan results normal. Myofascial trigger point?

Back pain: Thoraco Lumbar junction is a high stress zone. Has there been any trauma? In the absence of any MRI evidence of disc herniation, there may be a role for chiropractic manipulation. Have you tried anti-inflammatory medication as well? ...Read more

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I am experiencing severe pain in knee and thigh. I have had X-rays a MRI and a bone scan. All points to an Enchrondoma size of lesion is 5.9cm by 3.2cm. Bone scan results say mild uptake in metabolically active lesion?

I am experiencing severe pain in knee and thigh. I have had X-rays a MRI and a bone scan. All points to an Enchrondoma size of lesion is 5.9cm by 3.2cm. Bone scan results say mild uptake in metabolically active lesion?

See specialist: Your best option is to see an ORS who is a tumor/ reconstructive surgeon. There are several centers in Canada and many in the U.S.You want a surgeon who has done this surgery before (if needed). They can also determine if this benign bone tumor is the cause of your pain and your options. Best of luck! ...Read more

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Management of neglected undisplaced talus neck frx 6 month old confirmed by MRI CT & bone scan. What will be the result of late diagnose and treatment.

Good: An undisplaced talar neck fracture is serious condition, but since it is undisplaced and you do not have avn (from your mri/ct/bone scan results), you should have little to no sequelae. ...Read more

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Does cancer how up on exrays does cancer show up on exrays exrays taken ofhips they said it was burstisus I am a cancer survivor since 2007 clear test results clear lympnodes clear bone scan clear margins in stsge 1 breast cancer

Does cancer how up on exrays does cancer show up on exrays exrays taken ofhips they said it was burstisus I am a cancer survivor since 2007 clear test results clear lympnodes clear bone scan clear margins in stsge 1 breast cancer

Possibly: If the xray examination of the hip shows bone destruction or increased bone formation. On xray there has to be at least 40% destruction of bone for it to be visible. A normal bone scan is much more sensitive for detecting involvement of bone by tumor. If your bone scan is normal, the presence of tumor is unlikely. It is likely that your pain is from benign process such as bursitis or arthritis. ...Read more

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Results from my daughter's bone scan says that there is mildly increased uptake in the dorsum of her midfoot on delayed imaging. Stress fracture?

Results from my daughter's bone scan says that there is mildly increased uptake in the dorsum of her midfoot on delayed imaging. Stress fracture?

Not necessarily: I would expect the same type of report from a kid with a bone bruise or scuff at the same location. Such wording should be paired with the results of a history and physical exam to decide the diagnosis. ...Read more

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Mom's pth-peptide level is 35& her calcium level is 13 Chest xray normal., CT scan done, no results yet. Bone scan tomorrow. Where is the cancer?

May have no CA: 15 to 65 pq / mL. Is the range of parathormone in the serum. The only question is the slightly elevated bone calcium which might be associated with bone mets. This should show up on the scan. When parathormone is elevated it is usually derived from the parathyroid glands which might be hyperplastic or have a tumor. Occassionally an elevated parathormone level is seen in myeloma. ...Read more

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What's a bone scan for?

What's a bone scan for?

Bone metabolism: Bone scan involves intravenous injection of radio tracer usually technetium 99m mdp which accumulates in skeleton. Scan may involve early phase (5-10 min) and late phase (2-3 hr) imaging. Increased uptake is seen in fractures, tumors, infection, etc. Decreased activity is seen in metal artifacts, aggressive tumor/infection, & loss of blood supply to bones. Bone scan very sensitive but not specific. ...Read more

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What is a bone scan for?

What is a bone scan for?

Cancer or pain: Usually in adults it is used to detect metastatic cancer. It also is frequently used to evaluate for possible stress fractures and other bone problems. ...Read more

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How does a bone scan work?

How does a bone scan work?

Images calcium metab: Usually in adults the bone scan is used to detect metastatic cancer. It also is frequently used to evaluate for possible stress fractures in people with bone pain. There are many additional uses. It works by injecting a tracer that is taken up in bone similar to calcium. The small amount of radioactivity is then imaged with a camera (gamma or pet) utilizing fluorescence from the crystal. ...Read more

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What lights up in a normal bone scan?

New bone matrix: The injection is something that your body uses like a phosphate (methylene diphosphonate). In general when your body makes new bone, it will "grab" some of this. In young people we see more uptake near the ends of bones where they are growing. All bones will pick a little up since we are always making new and loosing some of the old. Kidneys filter out the rest. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Heston
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