What is it?
Osteoscintigraphy is a diagnostic method based on the introduction of a drug into the patient's body that quickly and easily accumulates in the bone tissue and contains an isotope (common name – radiopharmaceutical). The flashes of radiation that the isotope emits are then recorded using a special gamma camera. This method allows you to study the entire skeleton at once, unlike X-rays, which have an image of individual bones. Osteoscintigraphy is the main method of early diagnosis of primary tumors and metastatic lesions of the skeleton, evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment after chemotherapy and radiation therapy of a malignant tumor, as well as differential diagnosis of tumor and inflammatory bone lesions.
How does it work?
The essence of the method is that the affected bone tissue accumulates radioactive isotopes much faster than healthy ones. As a result, the images of pathological foci in the bones will have the form of zones of increased or decreased accumulation (black and white). It is noted that metastases can be detected by ostescintigraphy much earlier than when performing other studies.
Indications for scintigraphy
- Primary bone and joint damage.
- Metastatic lesion of the musculoskeletal system.
- Arthritis, arthropathy, and polio.
- Hidden injuries of the bone system.
- Benign and malignant neoplasms.
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of chemotherapy for subsequent treatment prediction.
- Inability to make a diagnosis with pain symptoms of unknown etiology.
- Control of inflammatory processes in the area of prosthetics.
How is the research conducted?
Preparation is not required, the study is carried out in two projections, anterior and posterior in full – body mode, 2-2.5 hours after intravenous administration of the drug.Before the study, a small dose of a radiopharmaceutical containing the isotope technetium Tc99 and capable of accumulating in bone tissue is administered intravenously to the patient, then its distribution is evaluated using a gamma camera and a series of scintigrams.
Is scintigraphy dangerous?
Although radioactive isotopes are used for this study, the patient's exposure to scintigraphy is so low that this method of research with technetium 99 can be carried out even in children of the first year of life.For all the years of clinical use of radiopharmacological drugs in the world practice, not a single allergic reaction has been described. This is due to the minimal amount of RFP administered, as well as its biological inertia. All isotopes used for research are short-lived-they quickly disintegrate, stopping radiation, and RFPs are quickly eliminated from the body after the study
The radiation load does not exceed the level of radioactive radiation that accompanies the chest X-ray or CT scan.
Contraindications to scintigraphy of the skeleton are pregnancy and the presence of an already established individual intolerance to the contrast agent.
Nursing mothers can continue feeding the baby a day after the procedure is completed.
After the study, the patient does not pose a danger to others and should not experience any unpleasant sensations. However, within 24 hours after administration of the drug, it is necessary to avoid close contact with children and pregnant women, and it is also necessary to increase the volume of liquid consumed to 2-2.5 liters.