- What is a Scintigram?
- When is a Scintigram performed?
- What preparation is needed for a Scintigram?
- How is a Scintigram performed?
- How are the results of a Scintigram interpreted?
It is a diagnostic imaging scan performed in the Nuclear Medicine laboratory. A specific radioactive drug is intravenously (i.v.) infused. This drug differs according to the organ that is to be examined every time. Then, a special camera is placed behind the body at the height of the organ to be investigated. This camera receives signals from the radioactive drug. The Scintigram results derive out of special processing conducted by a computer. Urologists most commonly use it for the evalution of bones, kidneys and testes.
Your Urologist may order a Scintigram:
- when, other imaging tests (e.g. ultrasound, CT scan) have given indications for urinary obstruction
- to investigate bone metastases from urinary tract cancer (e.g. renal, bladder, prostate cancer)
- when there is suspicion for testicular torsion
No special preparation is usually needed. Given that a radioactive drug is administered for the test, you should promptly inform your physician in case of pregnancy.
You may need to undergo a Scintigram either as an outpatient or as a hospital inpatient. Your physician will explain the procedure and answer any questions related to the test you may potentially have. The procedure is as follows:
- You will be given instructions on food and liquid intake before the scan. Instructions differ according to the type of Scintigram.
- A venocatheter will be placed to your arm to have the radioactive drug infused.
- You will have to wait for some time in a special waiting room until the radiodrug is distributed within the body.
- You will be asked to lie on your back on a table with a special camera.
- The procedure is absolutely painless.
- You will have to remain still for as long as your physician tells you.
- Once the test procedure is completed, you can get dressed and leave the lab.
Following the Scintigram, you can right away resume to your everyday activities without any restrictions. You may be asked not to come in contact with small children in particular for some hours. Scintigram is a safe scanning method without side effects.
Should there be any abnormal finding, the physician will inform you about this. You will be given further instructions and information about therapeutic options that are appropriate for you. In case of doubts, you may be recommended to undergo more specific screening (MRI, CT scan etc).