Other studies

Sentinel Node

What is a Sentinel Node scan?

Most Breast tumours and Melanomas spread in a predictable pattern along the lymph system. It has been found that if the first node (sentinel node) is clear of metastatic(cancerous) deposits then the rest of the lymphatic system will also be clear of metastatic deposits. The sentinel node can be identified by the injection of a radioactive tracer into the area near the tumour and taking images of the drainage. The surgeon in theatre then uses the images and a special probe to detect the radioactivity and therefore the sentinel node.

The scan is scheduled for either the day of the surgery or the day before.

 

Lymphoscintigram

What is a Lymphoscintigram?
Lymphoscintigram allows the lymphatic drainage in the limbs (legs or arms) to be investigated.  The radioactive material follows the drianage in the limbs so if there is a bloackage in the lymphatic system there will be less uptake in the lymph nodes in the groin or armpit.

Are there any special preparations for the test?
There are no special preparations for the test.  Eat and drink as normal.

What happens when I arrive in Nuclear Medicine?
Upon arrival in the Department you will be ask to lie on a couch in the scanning room.  A  small injection of a slightly radioactive substance will be given into both feet or both hands, depending on the limb in question.

How long between the injection and scan?
Images will be acquired immediately  and 2 hours after the injection.  You will not need to remain in the department between these times but we do ask that you do not use  more than necessary the limbs to be imaged eg a short walk to the coffee shop is fine but a quick jog round the block is not!

How will the images be acquired?
.The camera will be placed above your feet (hands) and an image acquired.  The camera will then be moved above your knees and then hips and further images acquired.  These procedures will be repeated when you return after two hours.

White Cell Scan

What is a white cell study?

A white cell scan helps to show areas of infection or inflammation.

Are there any special preparations for the study?

If you are on antibiotics, please telephone our department as soon as possible. Your appointment may need to be scheduled around your course of antibiotics. Otherwise there are no special preparations for the test. Eat and drink as normal.

What happens when I arrive in Nuclear Medicine?

When you arrive at the Nuclear Medicine Department we will take a sample of blood. We then ‘label’ the blood with a special radioacitve liquid. This can take 2 – 3 hours. You will be free to leave the department and hospital during this time. We will then re-inject your blood back into you. This labelling procedure will be carried out on your blood sample in sterile conditions to ensure that when we re-inject the product there will be no side effects to you.

How long between the re-injection and the scan?

The first scan will be carried out 1 hour later. We may also need to carry out further imaging 4 hours and 24 hours later, but we will clarify this with you on your appointment day.

How are the images acquired?

The cameras will be placed above and below your head. They will then scan down your body towards your feet. The cameras will be close to your body but will not touch it. Further combinations of the images may need to be acquired at 4 and 24 hours. Usually, each combination of the images takes about 45 mins to acquire.

mIBG Scan

What is an mIBG scan?

Metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG) is a synthetic compound which mimics a natural hormone and is preferentially taken up by some types of cells. The mIBG is labelled with a radioactive isotope of iodine (123I).

Are there any special preparations for the scan?

Prior to the start of the investigation we will need to prevent any uptake of the imaging agent in your thyroid gland. To do this, we will need you to take Lugols iodine the evening before the injection and the evening after your scan. You may collect this from pharmacy 2 –3 days before your first appointment.

The Lugols iodine has a very bitter taste to it, so you may wish to dilute it with squash, or some other liquid, to help to improve the taste.

What happens when I arrive in the department?

When you first arrive in the department a small injection of radioactivity will be given in your arm.

How long between the injection and the scan?

There is usually a four hour wait between the injection and the first set of images. You will be free to leave the department and hospital after the injection and the acquiring of the first set of images. A second set of images will need to be acquired at 24 hours.

How are the images acquired?

You will be asked to lie on the imaging couch. Cameras will be placed above and below your head. They will be close to your body but will not touch it. The cameras will then move towards your feet. Finally a SPECT image may be acquired. This SPECT imaging would be repeated at the second imaging too.

Octreotide Scan

What is an octreotide scan?

Octreotide scanning is used to detect and determine the possible spread of neuroendocrine tumours.

Are there any special preparations for the scan?

There are no special preparations for the scan. You can eat and drink as normal.

What happens when I arrive in the department?

When you first arrive in the department you will be given an injection in your arm.

How long between the injection and the scan?

The first set of pictures will be acquired 4 hours after your injection. You will be free to leave the department and hospital in between injection and scanning. The second set of images will be acquired 24 hours after the injection. It may be necesary to acquire further images but this will depend upon the results from the first and second set.

How are the images acquired?

You will be asked to lie on the imaging couch. Cameras wil be placed above and below your head. They will be close to your body but will not touch it. The cameras will then move towards your feet. Finally a SPECT image may be needed and acquired. The SPECT imaging will repeated at the 24 hours too. Each set of images takes 30 – 60 minutes to acquire.

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