Skeletal Imaging

nuclear medicine Bone scan

Bone Scan

Bone scans are used to evaluate for arthritis, osteomyelitis – bone infection, cellulitis – body tissue infection, bone cancer, fractures, sports injuries, or other bone abnormalities. Bone scans may also be used to evaluate unexplained bone pain. In known cancer patients, bone scans are used to check for metastases (if cancer has spread to the bones).   


There is no preparation for this test. On arrival, the technologist will explain the specific steps  depending on the reason the procedure was ordered. The radioactive tracer is injected in the vein, usually in the arm. Depending on the reason for the scan, there may be imaging at the time of injection.


You will be instructed to drink plenty of fluids (24 to 32 oz.) during the 2 to 3 hour delay between your injection and scan. If you are on fluid restriction, follow your physician’s directive.  
 

During the scan, you will be required to lie on your back, without moving. Using a nuclear medicine gamma camera, images of your bones will be acquired. There are no post-procedure instructions.

Your images will be reviewed by a radiologist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you.

 

Bone Marrow Scan

Bone marrow scans are used to assess suspected areas of avascular necrosis. They are also used to evaluate regional bone marrow abnormalities, identify marrow replacement by tumor, define marrow distribution, as well as to locate sites for biopsy. Sometimes bone marrow scans are used in conjunction with Labeled white blood cell imaging in the differential diagnosis of osteomyelitis.

 

The only preparation for a bone marrow scan is to avoid procedures that use barium for at least 48 hours prior to your bone marrow scan. When you arrive, the technologist will explain your procedure. You will receive an injection of a radioactive tracer in your vein. Images are acquired per protocol, using a nuclear medicine gamma camera.  

Your images will be reviewed by a radiologist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you.