Somatostatin Receptor 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.

Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy

Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy is applied in a search for neuroendocrine tumours.

 

Preparation

 

Preparation at home

If you are undergoing therapy involving somatostatin receptor antagonists, this does not necessarily have to be interrupted in preparation for the examination. Please consult us regarding the best procedure.

Please bring with you:

  • Where available, existing examination results (imaging, clinical examinations, surgical or hospital discharge reports, lab test results)
  • 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 somatostatin receptor scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

The low-level radiolabelled medication (radiotracer) will be injected into an arm vein.

The scintigrams are produced approx. 4 and 24 hours after the injection. You can leave our practice between the examinations.

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. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

The recording time will be approx. 30-60 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.