A bone scan or bone scintigraphy is a nuclear medicine imaging technique of the bone. It can help diagnose a number of bone conditions, including; cancer of the bone or metastasis, location of bone inflammation and fractures (that may not be visible in traditional X-ray images), and bone infection. In a typical bone scan technique, the patient is injected (usually into a vein in the arm or hand, occasionally the foot) with up to 740 MBq of technetium-99m-MDP and then scanned with a gamma camera, which captures planar anterior and posterior or single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images. In order to view small lesions SPECT imaging technique may be preferred over planar scintigraphy.
The Bone Scan is most useful for detecting spread of cancers which frequently go to bone when they spread such as lung, breast, prostate, uterine, kidney, bladder, and thyroid. The Bone Scan is used upon discovery of one of these cancers anywhere in the body, in order to detect if any of the cancer has spread to the bones. A PET scan also detects cancers in bone but sometimes the Bone scan is more sensitive and complimentary. The Bone Scan is an easy to use when someone has a known cancer, because it can routinely check the patient every year for any spread to the bones; and for the routine follow up of the bones after therapy. Bone Scans also detect patterns of arthritis; and detect infection or arthritis in bones, joints and the spine that are neither evident on x-ray nor definite on MRI.
A bone scan is used for many reasons including:
American Board of Radiology-Diagnostic Radiology
American Board of Nuclear Medicine
Fellow of the American College of Radiology
Society of Interventional Radiology (1989)
Society of Skeletal Radiology.
Nuclear Medicine, Mt.Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach
Diagnostic Radiology, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami.
Internal Medicine, United States Public Health Hospital, Baltimore, Md.
Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University, N. Chicago, Il.