123J-MIBG 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.

123J-MIBG scintigraphy

123J-MIBG scintigraphy is used to detect catecholamine-producing tumours (pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma).

Preparation

 

Planning of the examination

So that we can plan your examination exactly, it is important to know the results of previous examinations (e.g. previous imaging, clinical examinations, operating or discharge reports, lab values, current medications etc.). You can bring your results into our practice personally or send them to us via fax or e-mail.

Please bring with you:

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

Before the examination you will be given a medication (Irenat drops) to prevent unwanted absorption of the radioactive substance by the thyroid gland.

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 123J-MIBG scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

Before the examination you will be given a medication (Irenat drops) to prevent unwanted absorption of the radioactive substance by the thyroid gland.

Subsequently, the low-level radioactive medication (radiotracer) will be injected into an arm vein. Recording of the examination data can only begin when the medication has accumulated in the organ or section of the body to be examined. The recording of the scintigrams takes place circa 40 minutes and again 24 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) moves slowly along your body, but will not touch you as it does so. Depending on the medical issues to be resolved, recordings will be made at different points in time. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

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.