Lung and Breast Imaging

nuclear medicine lung scan


                                                                                               Lung Imaging

There is no preparation for this exam. When you arrive, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have. This is a two-part test:

1.       Ventilation to check the oxygen supply to your lungs

2.        Perfusion to check the blood flow to your lungs

For the ventilation part of your test, you will be asked to sit in a chair and breathe an aerosol made up of a mixture of a radioactive tracer and oxygen. Four sets of images of your lungs will be taken to show oxygen/radiotracer distribution in your lungs.


For the perfusion part of your test, you will be asked to lie on your back on the imaging table. You will receive an injection of a radiotracer in your vein. Following your injection, four sets of images will be acquired just as in the ventilation scan. This procedure takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.

Your images will then be reviewed by a radiologist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will contact you with the results and recommendations if there are any findings that require follow-up


breast imaging

Molecular breast imaging (MBI)


Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is a nuclear medicine imaging method used to detect breast cancer, especially in women with dense breasts. The technique is also known as scintimammography, or breast specific gamma imaging (BSGI). MBI uses a radioactive tracer called sestamibi to show any areas of cancer in breast tissue. The radiotracer is injected in a vein in the opposite arm of the breast being imaged. If both breasts are of interest, injection will be done in the hand, as far away as possible from the chest. Images of the breast are then acquired to look for areas of radiotracer concentration. Breast cancer cells tend to take up the radiotracer much more than normal cells do and so they "light up" more than normal breast tissue.

MBI is useful for detecting breast cancer in women who are at higher-than-average risk for the disease and have dense breasts. When women have a lot of dense breast tissue, tumors become hard to spot on mammograms. Fatty breast tissue looks dark on mammograms and can be differentiated from tumor cells. On the other hand, dense tissue appears light like tumors, so it can hide any cancerous areas that may be present. MBI is also useful for monitoring effectiveness of treatment and detecting local breast recurrence of known cancer.

Watch Dr. Carrie Hruska of Mayo clinic on the benefits of Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) for Breast Cancer diagnosis and follow-up in women with dense breasts

Video, courtesy Mayo Clinic