Nuclear medicine

Scintigraphy

The Bone scan is an imaging technique that is used in equine medicine, particularly in orthopedic diagnosis. The Scintigraphy is performed on a standing horse, which is slightly sedated and, just as in human medicine, injected with a component of bone metabolism. This component is bound to a radioactive marker (Tc99) which accumulates during the skeletal system metabolism. The increase of isotope uptake depends on the extent of bone metabolism. Later, these areas are detected by a gamma camera, which converts the emitted radiation in to a digital image. There is, therefor, the possibility to scan the entire body (head, neck, back, sacroiliac and pelvic region).

An increased metabolism, as it occurs in inflammatory processes, fissures or cysts, for example, can be seen as more intense coloration called “hot spots”. The method allows the visualization of areas which are impossible or difficult to reach by radiography or ultrasound (e.g. pelvis, back region or head). Also at the lameness examinations, it provides us with valuable information. The radiation is of short duration (72 hours) and, therefore, harmless to humans and animals. 

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