What is a SPECT Scan?
Single photon emission computed tomography or “SPEC” refers to images that are obtained through the use of an injection of radiopharmaceutical. A SPECT scan is generally carried out to analyse the flow of blood to the tissues and organs. SPECT scan make it possible to detect reduced rate of blood flow to an affected area helping doctors to identify internal anomalies.
What are SPECT scans used for?
A SPECT scan allows for the analysis and observation of the blood flow. The most common uses of a SPECT scan are for brain and heart-related problems. If a blockage is suspected in the blood stream then a SPECT scan is often the fastest way to identify and locate the problem.
What is the process?
SPECT scans are very similar to a CT scan so just like the CT scan, it is recommended to wear comfortable loose clothes during the process. To start, you will be given an injection with enough amount of radioactive tracer to produce clear images. The tracer contains a chemical that is highly visible to the scanner.
After 10-20 minutes the tracer will be sufficiently spread around the body. At this point you’ll be asked to lie on the scanner table whilst the camera captures images. It is highly recommended to stay as still as possible to allow the camera to capture clear images. After the procedure, no recovery time is needed – you can leave and go about your normal day.
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