Nuclear bone scan
A nuclear bone scan can detect or monitor illnesses that start in or spread to your bones. Trust your experienced team at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for skilled imaging services that provide accurate results.
What is a nuclear bone scan?
A bone scan is a type of nuclear medicine procedure, which puts a tiny amount of a radioactive tracer in your body. The tracer travels to your bones, where it gives off gamma rays that a special camera and computer use to create images for your doctors to study.
What to expect
Several hours before your test, you’ll receive an injection of the radiotracer intravenously (through a vein) in your arm. The material will gradually settle into certain areas of your body.
Learn more about what to expect from nuclear imaging.
Bone scan pictures
On your images, areas of the body that absorb:
- Little of the radiotracer will show up as dark “cold spots,” which could indicate cancer or lack of blood flow
- Areas that absorb lots of the tracer will show up as “hot spots,” which indicate rapid growth or repair. Hot spots may reveal problems such as arthritis, a fracture, infection, or tumor