A bone scan involves injecting a small amount of a radioactive substance that attaches to the bones. Images are then taken in what is called a “planar” format.
For a bone scan with SPECT/CT imaging, a “SPECT” scan is combined with a non-diagnostic “CT” scan to help localize an area of abnormal activity that may be present on the planar bone scan image. This is usually performed towards the end of the second appointment.
For the SPECT (or single photon emission computed tomography) component, the nuclear medicine gamma camera rotates 360 degrees around the body and creates pictures based on the data it obtains. For the CT (or computed tomography) portion, the CT detector uses a lower dose of radiation to help the SPECT scan create a better image. These CT images can be electronically fused with the SPECT images to generate the SPECT/CT image. These images are taken near the end of the second appointment of the bone scan.
Your doctor may order a bone scan with SPECT/CT imaging for some of the following scenarios:
Additional X-rays may be performed to help the radiologist with their interpretation of your bone scan. If this is required, they usually are obtained after the bone scan is finished and may take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
We do our best to have the specialized nuclear medicine physician interpret the data and forward the results to your doctor within two business days. If there is any additional urgency, please inform our team.
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinics.