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Gamma Camera Studies

What is Gamma Camera ?

A Gamma Camera is a device, which is used as an imaging technique to produce functional scans of the brain, lungs, thyroid, liver, skeleton, gallbladder and kidneys. This technique is known as Scintigraphy. Large crystal of sodium iodide is used to detect the gamma photons. Whenever gamma photon hits the crystal, it gives a tiny flash of visible light. Photomultipliers picked the gamma photons to convert the flash into an electrical signal. The computer then evaluates electrical signals from the photomultipliers to construct an image. It is a painless, minimally invasive way to obtain a complete image that is highly helpful in the treatment that follows.

What can Gamma Camera Study Tell me?

The Gamma Camera will track the radioisotope in the area to be scanned and will measure how the part processes it.

Types of Scans

At Molecular, we undertake the following Gamma scans:

  • Bone Scan
  • MPI Scan
  • Brain scan
  • DTPA Renal Scan
  • Enalapril DTPA study
  • DMSA Renal Scan
  • Thyroid Scan
  • Parathyroid scan
  • HIDA / hepatobiliary scan
  • Lungs V/Q Scan
  • Scrotal/ testicular study.
  • MUGA scan
  • GER/ GI bleed/ Meckels diverticulum study
  • I-131 MIBG scan
  • I-131 WB scan

How is it done?

  • When you come for your bone scan you are requested to bring your doctor’s prescription and any previous scans (CT, MRI, USG, X-ray, PET-CT). This information will help our radiologist plan and generate an appropriate report.
  • You may be asked to take off some or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown, remove any metal objects, such as a belt or jewellery, which might interfere with image results
  • Usually, no special preparation is needed for the procedure. The patient can eat a normal diet and continue with the daily chores.
  • Generally, sedation is not required in the procedure and the doctor should be informed about any medication the patient is taking.
  • The doctor at Molecular will provide instructions if the medication can affect the results of the scan.
  • The nuclear medicine physician will insert an intravenous line into the area to be monitored and the radioisotope will be inserted into the vein.
  • Most tests will require an initial injection followed by a delay of a specified time usually (upto 3-4hrs) followed by a set of images.
  • During the scan you will be asked to normally lie on the imaging couch on your back and will need to stay in this position while the images are taken. The machine may rotate around you.
  • Although, the machine will not touch you, it may come very close to you during some scans.
  • The Gamma Camera scan is usually done on an outpatient basis and no hospital stay is required after the procedure is complete.
  • Some restrictions may apply due to the radioactive nature of the pharmaceutical these may include a need to avoid prolonged contact with young children or pregnant women. These precautions would normally last for between 12 and 24 hours. You may also be advised to drink water more than usual and to empty your bladder more often than you would normally in order to help remove the drug from your body more quickly
  • You can expect your results within 24 hours of your examination. As soon as your reports are ready an SMS will be sent to the mobile number registered with Molecular. You can collect your reports from the Molecular’s report collecting desk. Also, you have an option to receive your reports online (contact the present medical staff to get yourself registered with us).

Benefits & Risks

Gamma Scanning has some benefits and risks

  • Non invasive technique to help your doctors understand important information like, how effectively your heart pumps, how well your coronary arteries supply your heart with blood, if your heart muscle is damaged or scarred from previous heart attacks
  • The test can help in deciding if additional interventional procedures will provide any benefit or not
  • Provides a low-cost and high-resolution imaging which can help avoid certain interventional procedures
  • It can assess the function of thyroid gland and kidneys.

The benefits of having a scan done under scintigraphy to help diagnose a medical condition, or to check the symptoms of an existing condition, usually outweigh the risks, however, some of the potential risks are:

  • Exposure to radiation
    During a scintigraphy scan, you’re briefly exposed to more radiation than you would be during a plain X-ray. However, the amount of radioactivity given in this procedure is strictly within the recommended national level.
  • Harm to unborn babies (pregnant ladies)
    Make sure you inform your doctor if you’re pregnant so that he is able to recommend a different examination such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to avoid the risk of exposing your fetus to the radiation.