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The patient is asked to lie still on an imaging bed. The gamma camera or SPECT/CT camera is positioned above and below the area/s of interest. The camera detects the signals (gamma rays) from the radiation that is emitted from the patient's body. Images are obtained of the distribution within the body over a period of time. The scan may take between 10 and 120 minutes, depending on the type of study. The patient is required to lie still for the duration of the scan.
A Static image is one picture taken over a set time period.
Dynamic images are lots of continuous pictures which can be played back like a movie and used to measure the clearance of a radiopharmaceutical from the organ of interest. The camera remains set in one position for these scans.
For whole body scans, the imaging bed moves the patient past the detectors, imaging from head to toe.
For tomography (SPECT) the detectors move round the patient to form a 3D image. Sometimes SPECT is followed by a low dose CT scan (SPECT/CT); the two sets of images are then fused to enhance anatomical localisation.
The main advantages of SPECT/CT are represented by:
MVI Tomography from Canterbury District Health Board on Vimeo.
For information on specific Nuclear Medicine Procedures
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