Frequently Asked Questions
- Which are the advantages of a nuclear medicine
- In which cases do I have to inform the lab personnel
about my situation ?
- Is there anything that I have to take care
of, before or
after the examination ?
- Are nuclear medicine examinations safe ?
- Are these examinations performed to children ?
- How is scintigram is performed ?
- Why are radiopharmaceutical provided ?
- How much time do I have to wait before
- during - after the examination?
- Which are the most common of nuclear medicine
- What exactly is Bone Scintigraphy ?
- What exactly is Liver Scintigraphy ?
- What exactly is Lungs Scintigraphy ?
- What exactly is Renal Scintigraphy ?
- What exactly is Myocardium Scintigraphy?
- 1. Which are the advantages of Nuclear
Medicine examination ?
- This special way of examination offers valuable information, that leads to an accurate and in time diagnosis of your medical problem. The process is completely painfree and safe. Moreover, the basic advantage of this method is, that is applied to children of young ages with great safety and without any side effects .
- 2. In which cases do I have to inform the lab
personnel about my situation ?
- In the case that you think you are pregnant or if you are at the breast feeding period of your baby, the medical physicist of our lab should be informed about your situation to give you the proper advise in every case; also in the case you are on medication, please inform us of the type.
- 3. Is there anything that I have to take care
before or after the examination ?
- Generally, no specific preparation is required before the examination, however, if preparation is needed, our personnel will inform you in time. After the end of the examination, your day schedule is not going to be affected. Only in the case that you have stopped your medication, should you refer to your personal doctor.
- 4. Are Nuclear Medicine examinations safe ?
- In most cases, the decision whether to have a medical examination relies on the
benefit to risk ratio. In Nuclear Medicine all measures are taken in order to minimise the radiation exposure of the patient. The benefit of a valid and in time examination, compensates the risk of a detrimental effect caused by a small quantity of radioactive substance, during the examination.
- 5. Are those examinations performed to
- Yes. Some of them are specifically dedicated to the diagnosis of young childrens' or infants' problems. It is a common process, the radioactivity of the chemical that is provided, to be calculated according to age, weight and height of the child, and mostly in agreement with his doctor. Just like with adults, the benefit of the examination is that the small amount of radioactive chemical used renders unsignificant absorbed dose to the child
- 6. How this examination is performed ?
- When the time to take images comes, a camera will be placed close to the part of the body, which is going to be examined. Then a number of different images will be taken. Those images initially appear in a monitor of a PC, and then they are copied to a film, for further study. The g-camera does not produce radiation; it just takes signals from the medicine has been injected to you. Many images will be acquired for the emergence of the maximum diagnostic information, but you will not be exposed in more radiation.
- 7. Why radiopharmaceutical is provided ?
- Before images are taken, the proper medicine is provided to the patient and according to its components concentrates in different parts of the body.
- 8. How much time do I have to wait ?
- After the medicine is given, it might be asked of you to wait for a period of time, before the images are taken. That period of time defers from examination to examination. More specifically, some examinations take place right after the medicine is given, though others have to be performed after hours or even days.
- 9. Which are the most common types of Nuclear
Medicine examinations ?
- Some of the most common scintigrams are :
More examinations like bone marrow scan, adrenal glands' scan, parathyroid glands' scan, direct cystography, testes scan, brain SPECT scan, salivary glands' scan, lymphangiography are performed in
- 10. What exactly is Bone Scintigraphy ?
- This scintigram will be done few hours after the medicine is given. From the images you can see the whole skeleton, and many times a specific part of the skeleton is examined.
- 11. What exactly is Liver Scintigraphy ?
- The scintigram will be done in 30 -45 minutes after the medicine is give. The examination provides information about the anatomy and function of liver and spleen. The study of gallbladder is done by a different scintigraphy (only after your doctor's request).
- 12. What exactly is Lungs Scintigraphy ?
- Images are acquired right after the medicine is provided. And there are two different methods to examine lungs : the study of lungs' perfusion and the inspection of their ventilation.
- 13. What exactly is Renal Scintigraphy ?
- There are two ways to get anatomic and functional information from kidneys : dynamic and static.
a) Dynamic : The scintigraphy is performed right after the medicine is given. During the examination, the function of the kidneys is observed mostly for diagnosis of any anatomical or not obstruction.
b) Static : The scintigraphy takes place few hours after the medicine is provided. Its purpose is to observe the anatomy and the absolute and relative function of parenchyma of the kidneys.
- 14.What exactly is Myocardium Scintigraphy?
- The most common myocardium scans identify normal or abnormal blood flow to the heart muscle and determine the existence or not and the extent of a damage to your heart muscle. The myocardium scan is performed, either with an exercise test on a treadmill
[stress scan] during which an electrocardiogram [ECG] is taken or at rest
[rest scan]. Some times the myocardium is enforced to stress by drugs as dipyridamole or adenosine. Stress and Rest Scans usually are performed in a 3 hours time interval.
Maria Lyra Georgosopoulou
Assoc. Prof. Medical Physicist
University of Athens