Nuclear Scintigraphy

facilities-imagePalm Beach Equine Imaging Center has been producing outstanding Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan) scans for over 15 years. Our highly trained staff takes pride in safely producing quality, diagnostic studies with great attention to detail. Our MiE gamma camera and software installed in 2014 has taken our imaging capabilities to a new, exciting level.

What is Nuclear Scintigraphy?

Nuclear scintigraphy is the process of injecting a radioisotope, technetium-99, tagged to phosphorus that localizes to bone. Either minutes after injection (for soft tissue) or hours after injection (for bone images), a gamma camera is used to capture images of the horse’s skeletal anatomy. Areas of increased radiopharmaceutical uptake (IRU) can be identified as “hot spots” and represent areas of increased metabolic activity.

room-viewWhy would my horse need a nuclear scintigraphy scan?

Nuclear scintigraphy is used as a screening tool to locate areas of increased metabolic activity in soft tissue structures or skeletal anatomy. This can help to identify potential sources of lameness in horses with subtle or multiple limb lameness. It can also be especially helpful in identifying fractures in areas that are difficult to image with other modalities such as the pelvis, upper limbs and spine. Nuclear scintigraphy is a strong diagnostic tool when used in combination with other modalities.

How will I get my images from my horse’s scan and will there be a report with them?

The images from your horse’s scan will be emailed directly to your veterinarian (or whomever you specify) on the same day that your horse is scanned. Our on-site radiologist will review the images and produce a report that will be emailed to your veterinarian (or whomever you specify) within two business days following the scan.

scintigraphyHow long will my horse have to be in the hospital for the scan?

Drop off and approximate pick up time will be discussed during scan scheduling with the Imaging Manager. An average hospital stay is approximately 30 hours from injection time to when the horse is cleared the following morning. Horses are prepared and injected with the radiopharmaceutical dose 2.5 hours prior to the start of the scan. Following the scan, your horse will need to stay in the hospital overnight care for by our 24-hour nursing staff. The following morning after the scan, the horses’ radiation levels are recorded via a Geiger counter until they are cleared for release. At that time, the hospital will call to schedule a pick up time, unless additional follow up care is requested by your veterinarian.

bone-scanWill my horse’s shoes have to be pulled?

Your horse’s shoes do not need to be pulled prior to the scan. Sometimes it is necessary to acquire solar views during a scan which requires the shoes to be removed. If this is the case, we will remove them at the time and the shoes will be returned with the horse.

How can I schedule a Nuclear Scintigraphy scan for my horse?

We perform nuclear scintigraphy scans by appointment only. Please have your veterinarian contact the clinic to schedule your horse for a nuclear scintigraphy scan by calling our Imaging Director, Barbara Lanigan, at (561) 793-1599.

Nuclear Scintigraphy Images

Equestrian NM Scan

Equestrian Bone Scan