scintigraphy of bones - a method of medical imaging, which is used for the detection of metastases in bone, arthritis, and other disorders.To perform this procedure using radionuclides or radioactive isotopes, which are also referred to as a tracer.
small amount of radionuclides introduced into the human body, and then using a special camera takes pictures of the skeleton.Lots of bone tissue that absorb a small amount of radionuclides or do not absorb them all, the photographs appear dark - they are called "cold" areas.This may be an indication of certain kinds of cancer, or to indicate that the dark areas to the bone getting enough blood.
Areas where the bone is growing rapidly and is recovering, absorb more of radionuclides, and pictures look more vivid;they are called "hot" areas.Such patches may be symptoms of arthritis, fractures, infectious diseases and certain types of tumors.
What can be assigned to bone scintigraphy skeleton
This procedure may assign to:
- diagnose bone canceror to determine whether the given bone metastases at other cancers, such as breast cancer Breast cancer: What you need to know every woman , lung, liver, thyroid thyroid gland - is responsible for your hormones , prostate, and so on;
- identify the cause of pain in the bones, which could not be set using other methods.Bone scintigraphy of the skeleton is used, for example, with strong and chronic low back pain.Frequently scintigraphy is performed, only to find the exact location of anomalies in complex bone structures, e.g., in the feet or spine.After that, often carried out additional diagnostic procedures such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging;
- diagnose bone fractures, such as hip if they can not be properly addressed through radiography;
- detect damaged bone tissue caused by infections or other disorders, such as Paget's disease.
Before the procedure, be sure to tell your doctor:
- If you are pregnant or suspect that might have recently become pregnant.During pregnancy scintigraphy do not normally do, because ionizing radiation can harm the health of the child;
- If you are breastfeeding.Tracer used for scintigraphy of bones, can penetrate into the breast milk.For this reason, within one or two days after the procedure, the child should not breastfeed.At this time, it can be given in advance of expressed breast milk or infant formula Dairy mixture - selection of the useful power .The milk that you express for one or two days after scintigraphy should be thrown out;
- If during the previous four days you did X-rays with barium, or did you take medications containing bismuth (eg, Pepto-Bismol).The presence of significant amounts of barium and bismuth in the body can affect the results of skeletal bone scintigraphy.
Before the procedure, patients do not need for some time to give up eating, drinking, or using any medication.
How is the procedure of scintigraphy of bones
When a patient comes to scintigraphy, he injected a solution which contains a small amount of tracer.Most often, the solution is injected into a vein in the arm.
Thereafter patients is recommended to drink plenty of water (about four to six cups), and just before the scintigraphy they should empty the bladder.Drinking plenty of fluids is necessary that the radioactive substance that will not absorb the bone, quickly washed away from the body.
Recommendation empty your bladder before the procedure due to the fact that the accumulation of urine, containing a tracer in the bladder, can prevent a good look at the bones of the pelvis.
The procedure usually begins only after one to three hours after the injection was given, so it is worth to take a book, player or something else that will help you pass the time waiting.In some cases, during the scintigraphy images do twice - once immediately after the tracer, and the second - three to five hours later.
For carrying out scintigraphy and interpretation of its results is usually responsible specialist in nuclear medicine, but in the diagnostic process may involve other doctors.
Pre patients are asked to remove any jewelry that might interfere with a clear image.Sometimes they also have to remove part or all of the clothes, instead of which they are given a sheet or paper, which you can hide behind.
The patient lies on a table, on which has a large camera.It can move along the body, to move below or above;during the procedure, the doctor may ask you to lie on his back, turn over on his side, and so on.In any situation it is important to lie still, otherwise the image may be blurred.Typically, scintigraphy, not counting the time between injection and the start of the procedure takes about an hour.
what feels the patient during scintigraphy
Typically, patients in the course of this procedure, do not feel anything, except for mild pain on injection when they are administered radionuclides.Scintigraphy itself is completely painless.Of course, many people experience some discomfort due to the fact that they have to be for a long time in one position and remain completely motionless.To make it a little more convenient, you can ask your doctor or nurse to bring a pillow.
addition, the procedure can be very unpleasant for those who suffer from severe pain in the bones or joints.Therefore patients should firstly before scintigraphy take analgesics, and secondly, to breathe deeply and slowly during the procedure - for many people it is very good to relax.
phrase "radioactive material" in many people associated with health risks, especially if the substance to be introduced into the human body.However, radioactive substances are used for scintigraphy of bones, are considered safe, and are rapidly cleared from the body in urine.The dose of radiation, the effects of which a person is exposed to in the course scintigraphy is very small.
In rare cases, patients develop an allergic reaction to the tracers.Its symptoms are a skin rash, itching, rarely - swelling of the face and / or throat, difficulty breathing, sudden decrease or increase in heart rate.When such symptoms as soon as possible go to the doctor.
Theoretically there is a possibility of overdose substances are administered to the patient before scintigraphy, but in practice the probability of this is very small.
results scintigraphy of bones
Usually the results of the patient in person or by telephone reported two days after the procedure.
If the bone of the patient is in good condition, a tracer on it is distributed evenly.So-called hot or cold spots are absent.This is - a normal result.
Anomalous results say when a patient is detected, at least one portion of cold or hot.Hot spots may indicate healing fractures, bone cancer, bone infection (osteomyelitis), arthritis Arthritis - a variety of forms and complications , Paget's disease.Cold spots can be signs of some types of cancer (eg, multiple myeloma), or bone infarct.
Since using scintigraphy of bones can not differentiate benign from malignant, often patients who scintigraphy gave abnormal results required and other diagnostic procedures, such as blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, biopsy.