Gallium-67 Scintigraphy is used for two broad purposes: The first is to detect infection. The scan is particularly useful in detecting infection or inflammation in the spine, chest region and is also useful to investigate suspected infection in bones and joints of other regions. Interpretation of the scan in the abdomen region, however, may be difficult at times since Gallium-67 is also normally secreted from the blood into the bowel progressively after several hours. The second purpose of this scan is to demonstrate cancers known as lymphomas, particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease.
❰❰ PATIENTS INSTRUCTIONS
|• This procedure requires injection of a radioactive material.|
|• If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, please inform the Nuclear Medicine staff. Female patients and wives of male patients should avoid becoming pregnant for 3 months following Gallium injection.|
|• If you are breast-feeding, please inform the Nuclear Medicine staff. You should stop breast-feeding 3 weeks before receiving Gallium-67 injection. Discard the milk after injection.|
|• Avoid the following before Gallium injection:|
|o Cytotoxic Chemotherapy: 3 weeks.|
|o Iron containing supplements: 7 days.|
|o Blood transfusion: 24 hours.|
|o Gadolinium enhanced MRI: 24 hours.|
|• Fasting is not required for this procedure.|
|• Do not stop other medications.|
|• For 3 days after Gallium injection:|
|o Drink plenty of water and empty your bladder.|
|o Take Laxative (Dulcolax) at bedtime.|
❰❰ RADIATION SAFETY
Nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures are safe except for pregnant ladies, unless it is requested by the physician for exceptional cases. However, the procedure better to be discussed with the doctor to know the desired benefits of the test and the alternative procedures, or you can ask the the nuclear medicine specialist about the procedure.
No, you shouldn’t because nuclear medicine scans use high-energy radioisotopes, the radiation passes directly from the other person without interacting with tissues. In contrast, wearing a lead apron slows down the radiation beam, which allows it to deposit its energy in the body and interact with tissues.
The risks from diagnostic doses are usually small compared to other lifetime risks to which the patient is exposed to and the amount of radiation dose in most diagnostic procedures is less than an x-ray, CT scan, or fluoroscopy.
When the body is exposed to radiation, tissue damage may occur, which in turn may damage DNA or chromosomes, increasing the risk of genetic mutations. When a fetus is exposed to radiation doses, it may cause abnormalities in an organ or irreparable damage and if the radiation dose is too high, it may cause the death of the fetus.
The radioactive dose used in diagnostic procedures in nuclear medicine is very low, unlike radiation treatments in which the amount of radioactive dose is high and this gives the desired effect on the tissues or organs when radiotherapy. That is why the patient must undergo a pregnancy test in the event of suspicion or if the pregnancy is uncertain before starting the therapeutic doses.
In diagnostic procedures the radioactivity is very low. However, the patient may be asked to maintain a distance of approximately one meter between him and his family members for a period of time given by the nuclear medicine specialist to protect them from exposure to radiation.
One the other hand, in therapeutic procedures, the patients may present some slight risk to their family members if they do not follow the INSTRUCTIONS ON RADIATION SAFETY given to them by the nuclear medicine specialist.
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