Liver Function Scintigraphy

Method

 

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

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

Scintigram of liver function

 

Scintigram of liver function

 

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.

 

Liver function scintigraphy

With the aid of liver function scintigraphy it is possible to assess the function of liver and/or biliary tract after a gallbladder operation, as well as evaluating benign liver tumours.

Preparation

 

Preparation at home

The examination will be carried out early in the morning, please arrive in a fasting state (on an empty stomach).

You may take any medications as usual.

Please bring with you:

  • Where available, existing examination results (imaging, clinical examinations, surgical or hospital discharge reports, lab test results)
  • A towel
  • A small breakfast

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 liver function scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

The low-level radiolabelled medication (radiotracer) will be injected into an arm vein. Immediately after this, recordings will be made, where applicable also late recordings up to three hours after the injection.

During the examination you will be lying comfortably – usually on your back – on the examination table. The recording system (gamma camera) will be positioned above your body, but will not touch you. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

The recording time will be approx. 30 minutes. Usually, you will be able to leave our 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