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Scintigraphy is a diagnostic method in which the body is imaged with special cameras after administration of a radioactive substance by vein, orally, or by other means.
Scintigraphy examines the retention, distribution, and excretion of the drug in the relevant organ by administering a different radioactive drug for each organ to be examined.
Radioactive drugs can be given to the body alone or by attaching to a suitable substance for the organ and lesion to be examined.
Gamma cameras are medical imaging devices used in nuclear medicine. Gamma camera creates images with gamma rays emitted from radioactive materials given to the patient for examination.
These images are obtained by detecting gamma rays emitted from the radioactive material given to the patient by detectors rotated around the examined organ. All signals are transferred to a computer. The computer analyzes the obtained signals by converting them into color images.
By imaging the distribution of the radionuclide (radioisotope) in the organism, anatomical information is obtained. And by determining the changes of this distribution over time physiological information is obtained.
Scintigraphic imaging modalities
Scintigraphy, a procedure that produces pictures of structures within the body, including areas where cancer cells are found, is used to diagnose, stage, and track diseases. The computer creates an image of the areas where the radionuclide was formed, and these areas may contain cancer cells. Also called a radionuclide scan.
There are different types of scintigraphic imaging. These are;
Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy
Dynamic renal imaging
Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy
Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy is an imaging test. It is also called a nuclear stress test. It monitors how well blood is flowing through the heart muscle and how well the heart muscle is pumping. For example, after a heart attack, this test locates damaged areas of the heart muscle. This test can be done at rest and while exercising.
The radionuclide is administered to the patient, it passes through the bloodstream and is absorbed by the healthy heart muscle before the procedure. Damaged areas or areas with poor blood flow do not absorb the radionuclide. Damaged areas appear as “cold spots”.
Hyperparathyroidism is a condition caused by increased secretion of parathyroid hormone, which plays an important role in calcium homeostasis. This condition can affect multiple organ systems, resulting in a variety of signs and symptoms. It is possible to diagnose parathyroid by scintigraphy and it is frequently preferred in recent years because it is a non-invasive technique.
Bone scintigraphy diagnoses and evaluates various bone diseases and conditions using radioactive materials injected into the bloodstream. The radiotracer moves through the area under study and emits radiation in the form of gamma rays that are detected by a special gamma camera and a computer to create images of your bones.
Bone scintigraphy has the potential to identify the diseases in their early stages, as it can precisely determine the molecular activity in the body.
Lung scintigraphy is an examination to measure the blood and air supply to the lungs. It is the best non-invasive test to diagnose pulmonary embolism. After intravenous injection of the radiotracer, these particles are distributed in the lungs similar to the lungs’ blood flow. This procedure is to evaluate the blood flow in the lungs.
Additionally, a radioactive gas or aerosol is inhaled so that the blood flow can be compared with the ventilation of the lungs. The entire examination takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
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