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Doctor insights on: Bone Scan Vs Xray

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What's the difference between an X-ray and a bone scan?

What's the difference between an X-ray and a bone scan?

Both radiation: Nuclear medicine radiation is given internally via IV injection, ingestion, or inhalation for determination of function of organs of body. Isotopes have different half lives and decay at different rates. Ct/xray is external radiation for visualization of anatiomy and pathology. Both contribute to radiation dose. Both are ionizing radiation. Ultrasound and MRI do not involve irradiation. ...Read more

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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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Does bone scan process involve any exposure to radiation as in x ray?

Does bone scan process involve any exposure to radiation as in x ray?

Yes: Both x-ray an isotope for bone scan produce ionizing irradiation. Exposure from isotope of bone scan in adult is about 6 msv. This is similar to some ct scans. The only imaging methods not involving irradiation are ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging mri. Information from each test is not the same. ...Read more

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What can a nuclear bone scan show (about my hip bones) that cannot be seen by x-ray?

What can a nuclear bone scan show (about my hip bones) that cannot be seen by x-ray?

Bone scan: A nuclear bone scan may show hairline fractures, bone loss, infection or small tumors not visible on xray. It may also confirm the presence of arthritis that may be suspected on xray. ...Read more

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Are there bone tumors that do not show up on X-ray or CT but do show up on bone scan? Can't have MRI (icd)

Are there bone tumors that do not show up on X-ray or CT but do show up on bone scan? Can't have MRI (icd)

Most seen on X-ray: Most primary bone tumors are evident on plain radiographs and ct exam. Mr is usually used to be exact about extent of involvement in soft tissues or marrow. Mr helps surgeon in planning extent of tumor for surgery. Bone scan and pet? Ct are used usually not to make diagnosis of primary bone tumor but extent of spread to other areas of body. Pet/ct is most sensitive and accurate detecting metastases. ...Read more

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I had an X-ray of my chest under my left breast and radiologist said There was a dense area and would like a nuclear bone scan. What does this mean?

I had an X-ray of my chest under my left breast and radiologist said There was a dense area and would like a nuclear bone scan. What does this mean?

Ask: It is important that you understand why you are having a test done. Nuclear scans are most often done to look at bones for infection or other illnesses. But do ask your doctor what he/she is looking for. All the best. ...Read more

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I have been having ribs pain for last 6 months. I had all tests like chest mri, bone scan, xray, blood work and every thing came out normal. Is dis costo?

I have been having ribs pain for last 6 months. I had all tests like chest mri, bone scan, xray, blood work and every thing came out normal. Is dis costo?

Anterior rib pain: Pain or tenderness to palpation usually anteriorly, affect multiple ribs usually 5th to 7th, worsened with coughing, deep breathing, or physical activity. Costochondritis may be treated with physical therapy or with nonsteroidal medication. The symptoms are usually self limited. Severe form with pain and swelling named tietze syndrome. Many other causes of chest pain can occur. ...Read more

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Ca br, infiltr ductal 2b, er-pr+, her2-ve, since 4yr, tamo1yr&exemes3yr, on bone scan hot spots rt femur, left parietal, sacral, L5 but all xray normal-advice?

Ca br, infiltr ductal 2b, er-pr+, her2-ve, since 4yr, tamo1yr&exemes3yr, on bone scan hot spots rt femur, left parietal, sacral, L5 but all xray normal-advice?

Further work up: You need to discuss the results of your bone scan with your doctor and find out what is causing the hot spots. The normal x-rays don't help at all. You may need further imaging or even a biopsy. ...Read more

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My Mom has pain under left breast by her ribs. She had an X-ray, dr said there was a dense area, wants to do a nuclear bone scan. Costochondritis?

My Mom has pain under left breast by her ribs. She had an X-ray, dr said there was a dense area, wants to do a nuclear bone scan. Costochondritis?

No: Costochondritis does not show up on x-ray. The density is concerning for cancer, and that is what the follow up studies are looking for. Good luck I hope it turns out to be something benign. ...Read more

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Fall 2m ago. Xray, spect CT and bone scan normal. Mid foot swells and painful with wt bear. Physio stumped. Unsure what else it could be?

Fall 2m ago. Xray, spect CT and bone scan normal. Mid foot swells and painful with wt bear. Physio stumped. Unsure what else it could be?

May need foot MRI: If you're having soft tissue swelling, that's not visualized on x-ray very well. An MRI is more definitive, and there may be more soft tissue injury present than meets the eye. Often, trauma can cause this rather easily ; best to go back to your foot specialist, or orthopedist. Glad your bones are in good shape! Now, let's focus on your foot. Painful weight baring is not a good sign of recovery. ...Read more

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Without infection symptoms what else can cause a bone scan to light up? With nothing on CT or xray (no MRI icd) just excruciating pain in the hip.

Without infection symptoms what else can cause a bone scan to light up? With nothing on CT or xray (no MRI icd) just excruciating pain in the hip.

Many things: Many other disease processes can cause increased activity in the bone with a nuclear study. Fracture or bone stress, significant degenerative changes, avascular necrosis, soft tissue inflammation, and more. Talk about this finding with your Nuclear Physician and Primary Care Doctor. ...Read more

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Had bone scan today, showed white spots lower back and hips, why is this? Had bc 2005, stress fracture showed on normal xray

Had bone scan today, showed white spots lower back and hips, why is this? Had bc 2005, stress fracture showed on normal xray

Degenerative changes: I assume the image you saw was white on black, which means that the white areas are where there is "uptake" of the radiopharmaceutical. If that is true, based on the locations you mention, most likely white dots are due to spurs (benign bony overgrowths, facet joint arthritis, etc.). ...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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Does a bone scan use radiation?

Does a bone scan use radiation?

Yes: It is a nuclrear medicine study that uses a small amount of radiation similar to xrays. The amount usrd is not in a range that is harmful or should be worrisome if the exam is clinically warrented. ...Read more

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How do they do a bone scan on knees?

How do they do a bone scan on knees?

Bone scan...: For most bone scans, a tracer called technetium mdp is injected intravenously and then delayed images of the desired area are taken. The patient is usually positioned supine on the table and the detectors of the gamma camera are oriented to achieve the appropriate views. ...Read more

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How do bone scan and a pet scan differ?

How do bone scan and a pet scan differ?

Tracers..: The tracers are different. Bone scan usually uses TcMDP and PET scan uses F18-FDG (glucose). The bone scan is good for showing osteoblastic bone lesions and shows increased bone activity around a metastasis but not the actual metastasis itself. The PET can show glucose uptake in the actual tumor itself. PET is better for lytic bone lesions. CT part of PET/CT can show lytic and blastic lesions. ...Read more

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Can cancer be caused by having a bone scan?

Can cancer be caused by having a bone scan?

Essentially not.: There is radiation with a bone scan, but it's reasonably low. Your drive to the clinic/hospital was probably more dangerous than the scan itself. ...Read more

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What are the bright white spots on a bone scan?

What are the bright white spots on a bone scan?

Isotope deposits: A bone scan invovles injecting a radioisotope into the body. The brighter white areas are where the body has deposited more of the isotope than the less bright areas. Some of this is normal, such as in the bladder but some of these areas may be abnormal. ...Read more

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Is a bone scan useful to diagnose childhood leukemia?

No: Diagnose will be made by getting specific blood work and ultimately a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy. Bone scan will not be useful to diagnose leukemia. ...Read more

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Dr. Anthony Filly
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Roentgen Rays (Definition)

Roentgen rays are another term for x-rays, which are a form of electromagnetic radiation (other types include light and microwaves). X-rays are used to provide imaging with plain ...Read more


Dr. Thomas Heston
218 Doctors shared insights