Bone Imaging

A bone scan is a nuclear imaging exam that can help physicians diagnose and treat problems of the bone, such as cancer, arthritis, fractures, infections and other conditions. The test uses a radioactive substance, called a tracer, which is absorbed by the bone. The gamma camera detects energy from the tracer and produces images of the skeleton.

What should I expect?

When you first arrive for your bone scan, the technologist will inject a small amount of radioactive material into your vein. You must drink at least 2 to 4 glasses of water or juice within the first hour following your injection.

After your injection, it takes 2 ½ to 4 hours for the radioactive material to travel to your bones. You can leave the facility during this time. You will be given a time to return for your 45-minute scan.

Brain Scan

An imaging exam using nuclear medicine can help your physician see and evaluate brain blood flow and function. This information is helpful in the diagnosis of conditions such as dementia and other neurological conditions of the brain.

What should I expect?

An IV line will be placed in your hand or arm to administer the radioactive scanning drug. Depending on the reason for the scan, you may rest quietly in a low-lit room for 45 minutes before your scan. Sometimes there will be a three-hour delay from the injection time to the scan time. You may leave during these three hours and return for your scan at the time given to you by your technologist.

During the scan, the technologist will position a gamma camera near your head to take pictures of your brain. The imaging takes approximately 30 minutes.

Cisternogram

A cisternogram is a nuclear imaging test that shows the distribution of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which protects your brain and spinal cord.

What should I expect?

Your back will first be numbed locally with an anesthetic. You may feel some pain as the area is numbed. Next, the radioactive material will be injected into your spinal column with a needle. You may feel slight pressure as the needle is inserted into the lower back. The needle will be removed after the injection.

Scans of your back and head will be taken at various intervals of time. Typically, imaging sessions will take place at three hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and, sometimes, 72 hours after your injection.

Gallium Scan

A gallium scan is a nuclear imaging test that uses gallium, a radioactive substance that is designed to build up at sites of tumors or areas of infection. A scan will show these problem areas as bright spots on an image and provide information that may help your physician detect, diagnose and treat cancer, infection or inflammation inside the body.

What should I expect?

A gallium scan often requires multiple visits to our facility for imaging.

During your first visit, your technologist will inject a small amount of gallium into your vein. After your injection, you will be asked to return one, two or three days later for your imaging test. You may be asked to take a bowel preparation with oral laxatives and or enema before your return.

Gastric Emptying (Solid)

A gastric emptying test is performed to determine the time it takes for solid food to empty from your stomach into your small bowel.

What should I expect?

When you arrive for your exam, you will be given a meal of scrambled eggs that has been mixed with a small amount of radioactive material, two pieces of toast and an 8-oz glass of water. Immediately after you eat, a technologist will take pictures over a period of up to four hours.

If your stomach empties slowly, you may be asked by your physician to take the drug REGLAN.

How do I prepare?
Do not drink or eat anything during the 12 hours before your exam.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleed

A nuclear imaging scan of your gastrointestinal (GI) system can help your physician find the source of bleeding in your intestines.

What should I expect?

In this procedure, a small amount of blood is drawn from your arm. This drawn blood is mixed with a radioactive substance in the lab. The treated blood is injected back into the vein in your arm. This process is called labeling.

Once the radioactive blood is in your vein, the technologist will take pictures of your abdomen over a period of approximately 60 minutes.

Your appointment is usually scheduled for the morning. Your initial visit will take approximately two hours. Sometimes, you will be asked to return later in the day for additional pictures, which may require an additional 30 minutes.

Hepatobiliary Scan (Hida Scan)

A hepatobiliary scan is a nuclear imaging exam that will show if there are blockages in your gallbladder or bile ducts. If your gallbladder has been removed, the test may be performed to detect leaks in the bile ducts and delayed bile flow into the small bowel.

What should I expect?

Expect to spend an average of 2.25 hours for his appointment.

A small amount of radioactive material will be injected into your body. This radioactive material, called a tracer, will show the flow of biliary fluid. A technologist will begin taking pictures immediately after your injection. This initial image session may last up to an hour. If the technologist is unable to view the flow of the biliary fluid during that time, imaging will continue intermittently for up to an additional 3 hours.

When the gallbladder receives bile and is seen by the scan, an injection may be given to contract the gallbladder.

How do I prepare?

Do not drink or eat anything during the eight hours before your exam.

I-123 MIBG

An I-123 MIBG scan is a nuclear imaging exam that helps physicians find certain types of cancerous tumors in the body.

What should I expect?

A radioactive material will be injected into your body. Pictures are taken at 24 hours and possibly 48 hours following your injection.

Prior to the exam and sometimes after your exam, you will be given drops that block the thyroid from absorbing the radioactive material.

How do I prepare?

You may be asked to stop taking certain medications prior to the study.

Liver and Spleen Scans

SIRTeX SIR-Spheres

A nuclear imaging exam can help your physician see the size of your liver and spleen and evaluate how well these organs are functioning. This information can help in the diagnosis and treatment of injury or disease, such as liver cancer.

The test may also be performed to detect a hemangioma, a benign tumor generally found in the liver.

What should I expect?

Your technologist will inject a small amount of radioactive material in a vein. After your injection, a special camera will be used to take images of your body from many different angles. The scan takes several minutes.

In an exam to detect a hemangioma in the liver, your technologist will first draw a small amount of blood from a vein in your arm. Your blood will be treated with a small amount of radioactive material. This treated blood is injected back into your vein. This process is called labeling. After the labeling of your blood, several pictures will be taken at different intervals.

Lung Scan

A nuclear imaging scan of your chest will show how well air and blood is flowing through your lungs.

What should I expect?

A lung ventilation test will be performed to test the airflow through your lungs. In this procedure, you will breathe in a small amount of radioactive aerosol through a facemask or a mouthpiece for three to five minutes. Images will be taken of your chest from various angles during this time.

A second set of pictures will be taken after a small amount of radioactive material is injected into an arm vein. These pictures will be taken at multiple angles to evaluate areas in the lung where blood supply is weak.

Both studies take approximately 45 minutes. A recent chest x-Ray is also necessary for the radiologist to interpret the Lung scan.

MUGA Scan: Resting

A MUGA (multi-gated acquisition) scan is a nuclear imaging study that shows how much blood your heart is pumping and how well the walls of your heart are contracting.

What should I expect?

Your technologist will take a small amount of blood from your vein (usually from your arm). Your blood will be treated with a small amount of a radioactive material. This radioactive blood is injected back into your vein. This process is called labeling.

After labeling your red blood cells, the technologist will take pictures of your heart while you are connected to an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine.

The entire study takes approximately 75 minutes.

PET/CT

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/Computed Tomography (CT) technology is an advanced nuclear imaging exam that allows physicians to view and measure not only the size, shape and location of an organ or internal structure, but also its function, in one scan.

The advanced equipment integrates PET and CT technology into a single device. CT uses x-ray technology and computers to view the anatomy of tissues with exceptional clarity and detail. PET captures images of the biological function of tissues by detecting the distribution of a radioactive substance that is injected into the patient prior to the exam.

PET/CT scans are a valuable tool in the detection and diagnosis cancer, blocked arteries in the heart, or neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

What should I expect?

PET/CT scans begin with an injection of a radioactive sugar solution. Following the injection, you will rest in a private room for approximately 60 minutes.

As your body metabolizes this sugar solution, tiny particles called positrons in the radioactive substance will begin to emit energy. This energy is detected by special imaging technology. Areas with higher radioactivity will show up as “hot spots” on a PET/CT image, often indicating rapidly growing tumors because cancerous cells generally consume more sugar than normal tissue.

Please allow up to two hours for the entire exam.

The PET exam itself causes no side effects and you will be able to drive yourself home. However, some patients may request a mild sedative be given to relieve anxiety, and must have someone drive them home.

How do I prepare?

  • Do not eat or drink any sugars or carbohydrates from noon on the day prior to your exam.
  • Do not engage in strenuous exercise for 24 hours prior to your exam.
  • Do not eat or drink anything except water after 8 pm the night before a morning appointments.
  • Do not eat or drink anything except water after 6 a.m. for an afternoon appointment. If you have breakfast before 6 a.m., it must consist only of proteins – no sugars or carbohydrates.
  • Drink 24 oz of water prior to the study. All necessary medication may be taken with water. Do not drink any other kind of fluid.
  • If you are diabetic, you will be given additional instructions.

What instructions should I follow after my exam?
After your exam, you may resume normal activity. If any of your prior studies, like CT scans, have been provided to the radiologist to compare with your new procedure, your physician will receive a report within 24 - 48 hours of the exam. The results of your exam will be given to you by your doctor who will compare your PET/CT results against your past medical history.

ProstaScint

A ProstaScint scan is a nuclear imaging exam that can help your physician detect the spread of prostate cancer to other parts of your body.

What should I expect?

A technologist will inject into a vein in your arm a small amount of ProstaScint, a radioactive material that attaches to prostate cancer cells. You will return for images four days after your injection.

You will be asked to take a laxative and to perform an enema the day before your return for your images.

Imaging will take up to three hours. A CT scan of your pelvis will be done following the ProstaScint study.

Inform your technologist if you have received a ProstaScint injection before. ProstaScint can cause the formation of a specific antibody called HAMA.

ProstaScint is a monoclonal antibody that on rare occasions can cause temporary side effects, to include itching, fever, hypertension, hypotension, elevation in liver enzymes, joint pain, rash, aching, shortness of breath, and alteration of taste. Other side effects may occur in some patients.

Renal Scan

A renal scan with nuclear medicine imaging can help your physician evaluate how well your kidneys are working.

What should I expect?

After injecting a small amount of radioactive material into your vein, your technologist will take pictures for a period of 45 minutes.

During the procedure, you may be injected with a medication to help you urinate. This medication could cause some side effects, including frequent urination, dizziness, hypotension, and dehydration, among other symptoms.

How do I prepare?

You will be asked to hydrate with non-caffeine fluids before the study. You may be asked to not take your normal high blood pressure meds the day of your study.

Thyroid Exams

Nuclear imaging is an effective tool in the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the thyroid, a gland in the neck that controls metabolism.

I-131 Treatment for Hyperthyroidism

This procedure involves the use of a radioactive iodine I-131 to treat an overactive thyroid.

What should I expect?

You will be given a radioactive capsule to swallow. Avoid being close to children and pregnant women for several days. The technologist and radiologist will review reasons for this requirement and discuss other activity restrictions prior to your initial visit to Inland Imaging.

Parathyroid Scan

A parathyroid scan allows physicians to view and evaluate problems with the parathyroid glands, the small glands in your neck next to your thyroid gland.

Parathyroid Scan

A parathyroid scan allows physicians to view and evaluate problems with the parathyroid glands, the small glands in your neck next to your thyroid gland.

What should I expect?

This exam requires two imaging sessions. At the first session, your technologist will inject a radioactive substance into a vein in your arm. Sometimes another injection with a different radioactive material is given at the second imaging session. Pictures will be taken immediately of your neck and two hours later. You will be able to leave in between the two scans.

Thyroid Scan (Tc99M)

This study is used to observe the shape and size of your thyroid.

What should I expect?

Your technologist will inject a small amount of radioactive material into your vein. Imaging will begin 15 minutes after your injection.

Thyroid Uptake and Scan

This nuclear imaging exam allows your physician to evaluate the size, shape and function of the thyroid and to measure how much Iodine your thyroid metabolizes in a 24-hour period.

What should I expect?

You will be given a capsule to swallow that contains a small amount of radioactive material that will be absorbed by the thyroid. You may also be injected with another radioactive scanning material for the imaging portion of the exam.

Your technologist will take images at different intervals to measure how much radioactive material is absorbed by your thyroid. The imaging usually occurs 24 hours after you ingest the radioactive material.

How do I prepare?

You may be asked to stop taking specific medications for up to one month prior to your exam.

White Blood Cell Test

A nuclear imaging exam can help your physician detect your white blood cell activity and diagnose infections in the body.

What should I expect?

In this procedure, a technologist will first draw blood from your vein. A nuclear medicine pharmacist will remove the white blood cells from the blood and attach a small amount of radioactive material to them in a process called labeling. This process can take three (3) to four (4) hours.

After your white blood cells have been labeled, the radioactive blood will be injected back into your vein. The treated white blood cells will gather at the site of infection. You will return to our facility 24 hours after your injection for imaging. The pictures will take up to 90 minutes.