August 15, 2017
What is a SPECT/CT scan?
SPECT/CT combines two different types of scans and merges the images from each to create a single, layered image. Combining the information from a nuclear medicine SPECT study and a CT study can provide more precise information about how different parts of the body function and more clearly and accurately locate and identify disease and other physical irregularities.
SPECT imaging, or single-photon emission computerized tomography, creates a 3D color image that animates the function of almost any organ in the body. This picture can fully depict the way blood moves through the heart, what parts of a brain are active or inactive after a stroke, how quickly a bone is healing — or for cancer patients, whether or not disease has spread to the bones.
Computed tomography (CT) images are obtained as an X-ray camera rotates over a 360 degree arc around the patient, allowing for image reconstruction in three dimensions. Although the vast majority of SPECT/CT’s are done with very low dose CT, we also have the capability to do diagnostic CT with or without iodine contrast when indicated.
The Patient Experience
When a patient undergoes a SPECT scan, they are injected with a small amount of radioactive tracer material. The radiation emitted by the material is detected by the imaging camera, which produces pictures of the body part being imaged. The patient lies still and flat while the image is captured.
The X-ray machine from the CT scanner rotates much faster than the gamma camera, so the CT part of the study takes less time than the SPECT study. The imaging process is painless.
Following the SPECT/CT scan, the radioactive material exits the body through urine and stool. Drinking plenty of water after the exam helps speed the elimination process.
“In many disease processes, physiological changes occur before anatomical changes are discernible on imaging. Also, in other cases, pathology is not necessarily accompanied by anatomical changes. In these circumstances, SPECT/CT imaging is invaluable. It combines information from both modalities to create a more detailed and information rich image, thus allowing for early diagnosis of certain diseases, as well as detection of disease processes that may otherwise go unnoticed.”
SPECT/CT provides imaging with greater specificity of anatomical location for:
• Parathyroid disease
• Bone scans (biggest areas of improvement with SPECT/CT are for scans of the spine, feet, ankles, hands and wrists.)
• Lung (quantification prior to lobectomy or to better identify pulmonary embolisms.)
• Studies of neuroendocrine tumors (Octreoscans, MIBG)
• Prostascint® scans for prostate cancers
For more information contact Dave Durgan at Inland Imaging.
Call 509-435-2644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org