Brain Perfusion Scintigraphy

Method

 

Supervision of a scintigraphy by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Supervision of a scintigraphy
by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Nuclear medicine in general

In nuclear medical examinations (scintigraphies) low-level radiolabelled medications (radiotracers) are used in the diagnosis of disease.

The radioactive test substance is injected into an arm vein. It is distributed throughout the body by the blood system, and depending upon its composition, accumulates in the target organ. The radiation produced (gamma rays) has low strength but a wide range. This means it can be visualized outside the body as an image or series of images using a special device (gamma camera).

Most scintigraphies cause an exposure to radiation equal to a person’s natural annual exposure. As all nuclear medical procedures involve such exposure – albeit only slight – to radiation, they can only be carried out when the patient is not pregnant.

Brain perfusion scintigraphy

Brain perfusion scintigraphy is employed to evaluate the blood circulation of the brain and the relevance of established narrowing of the carotid arteries.

Preparation

 

Please bring with you:

  • Where available, existing examination results (imaging, clinical examinations, surgical or hospital discharge reports, lab test results)
  • Current medication and times taken (names of the drugs and dosage)
  • A towel

Procedure

 

Prior to the examination you will be questioned about the medical history of your illness to date and your present symptoms. The doctor will also check whether there is a justifiable indication for the examination, i.e. whether a brain perfusion scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

The low-level radiolabelled medication (radiotracer) will be injected into an arm vein. The examination will take place approx. 30 minutes after injection into the body.

During the examination you will be lying comfortably – usually on your back – on the examination table. The recording system (gamma camera) moves slowly around your head, but will not touch you as it does so. If the effect of narrowing of the blood vessels in the neck is to be examined in your case, a short infusion with a medication to dilate the blood vessels will be necessary.

The recording time will be approx. 20 minutes. Usually, you will be able to leave the practice immediately after the examination.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us. This will usually reach your doctor within a week; in case of medical necessity, it may also come at short notice on the same or the following day.