Skeletal Scintigraphy

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Skeletal Scintigraphy
Skeletal Scintigraphy
Video: Skeletal Scintigraphy
Video: Bone Scintigraphy 2023, February

Skeletal scintigraphy

Skeletal scintigraphy is a nuclear medical examination of the skeleton. A radioactive phosphate compound is injected into a vein that accumulates in the bone. A gamma camera can be used to detect areas with increased bone metabolism and / or increased blood flow. Such foci of increased bone remodeling can be an indication of broken bones, bone tumors, metastases or inflammation…


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  • When is a skeletal scintigraphy necessary?
  • What preparations are necessary?
  • How is the examination performed?
  • What side effects / complications can occur?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

When is a skeletal scintigraphy necessary?

The skeletal scintigraphy is used to detect bone areas with increased metabolism. This is always the case where bones are broken down or built up or in acute or chronic skeletal metastases (cancer). In trauma surgery, skeletal scintigraphy is used to detect fresh bone fractures that cannot be detected using conventional X-ray methods. Bone tumors and inflammation can also be detected using scintigraphy.

If a scintigraphy is required for medical reasons, the attending physician will issue a referral to a specialist in nuclear medicine.

What preparations are necessary?

No preparation is required for a skeletal scintigraphy.

Note If you are pregnant or a pregnancy cannot be ruled out with certainty, or if you are breastfeeding, it is essential that you inform the doctor in charge of this before the examination. In these cases - unless there are serious reasons - an examination with radioactive substances is dispensed with in order not to expose the unborn child to the risk of damage from radioactive radiation.

How is the examination performed?

The doctor injects the radiopharmaceutical into a vein in the arm. Depending on the question, images of the desired body region or whole body images are taken either immediately after the injection, otherwise after about two to three hours.

You should drink plenty of fluids and empty your bladder frequently between the injection and ingestion. This keeps the radiation exposure to the body low. During the recording you should avoid movements and make sure you breathe comfortably! For this reason, small children may need sedation or short anesthesia for the duration of the examination.

What side effects / complications can occur?

The examination is completely painless and there are no side effects from the radiopharmaceutical. Due to the low radiation exposure, the examination with correspondingly low-dose radioactive substances is also possible in children.

Whom can I ask?

A skeleton scintigraphy can be carried out in special institutes by resident specialists for nuclear medicine or in hospitals with a nuclear medicine department. A referral from your treating doctor is required.

The examination itself is carried out by a radiology technologist under medical supervision. First a venous access is pierced by a doctor and then the radiopharmaceutical is administered. After the images have been created, the findings are made by the specialist in nuclear medicine.

  • You can find specialists in nuclear medicine in your area under Services: Doctor search
  • You can find hospitals with a nuclear medicine department near you under the search for a clinic

How are the costs going to be covered?

You need a doctor's referral for a skeletal scintigraphy. This is valid for one month from the date of issue. The costs of a scintigraphy are covered by your health insurance provider.

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