Scintigraphy (Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine)
We are equipped with a digital gamma camera for scintigraphy (nuclear medicine). Scintigraphy allows the functional evaluation of different organs or systems. It is more sensitive to physiological changes compared to diagnostic radiology and sonography. It can detect abnormalities before they become apparent on other imaging modalities.
The most common applications are:
- Thyroid Scans: These scans detect the presence of functional thyroid tissue in dogs and cats.
- Bone scans: They are used to localize metastatic bone lesions and in finding the cause of obscure lamenesses.
- Portosystemic shunt scans: These scans offer a noninvasive, accurate method of detecting shunts. The procedure consists of depositing a radionuclide (99m-Technetium) in the splenic vein via sonography-guidance, followed by acquisition of several images over a three-minute period. The magnitude of the shunt can be estimated but it is not designed to determine the actual site of the shunt.
- Glomerular function rate (GFR) for renal function evaluation: The GFR is directly proportional to the number of functioning nephrons. It allows for detection of renal dysfunction prior to elevation of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) or creatinine. It is an important consideration prior to nephrotomy or nephrectomy.
Pulmonary scintigraphy: In combination with thoracic radiographs, pulmonary scintigraphy (perfusion) is used for assessing patients suspected of having pulmonary thromboembolism.
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