A 67Ga Scan is a form of nuclear medicine that uses a small amount of radioactive tracer (radiopharmaceutical) and a gamma camera to search for and locate areas of infection and inflammation. The most common uses for 67Ga Scans are to diagnose infected joint replacements, and identifying sites of infection elsewhere in the body.
67Ga Scans involve two to three visits over several days.
What to expect
A. Before your scan
What to bring
A referral from your doctor or medical specialist – an appointment is required for this examination
Any relevant previous imaging
Your Medicare card and any concession cards
Preparation – the week of your scan
At your first appointment, a member of our medical imaging team at Envision Medical Imaging will explain the 67Ga Scan procedure and inject the tracer into an arm vein. You are then free to go home and resume normal activities until your scan appointment, which is usually 48 hours later.
Preparation – on the day of your scan
You may eat and drink normally up to and during the 67Ga Scan procedure. It is helpful if your bowel motions are normal for abdominal and whole body scans.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for a small child on the appointment or scan days, please notify us in advance to receive special instructions.
B. During your 67Ga Scan
You will be taken to the imaging room and asked to lie on your back on the examination table and stay very still.
A special gamma camera which is a large square radiation detector will be used to take pictures of your body will be obtained. The camera does not produce any radiation; it simply detects and records the distribution of the radioactive material in your body. It also rotates around the body while acquiring images (SPECT). You will experience no unusual sensations or discomfort from the scanning process.
The images may be combined with a low dose CT (Computed Tomography) scan done at the same time on the same scanner. This combination of SPECT/CT improves the accuracy of the information obtained, and adds only few minutes to the procedure time.
Your scan will take 60 to 90 minutes while we map the distribution of tracer in the area of interest, which may be either a localized area or the whole body. Occasionally, we may need more images three days (72 hours) after the first appointment, but can only determine this after the first set of images is complete.
Risks and side effects
Nuclear Medicine studies require very small doses of gamma radiation and are only performed where the benefits of the examination are deemed to outweigh any potential risks. The examinations are considered very safe with almost no reported adverse reactions attributable to the radiopharmaceuticals used in these examinations.
If you are worried or concerned about having a 67Ga Scan, you should discuss this with your referring doctor or medical specialist before coming for your examination.
If you think you may be pregnant, please inform our Envision team before your examination.
Who will perform and report my examination
At Envision Medical Imaging your examination will be carried out by a Nuclear Medicine Technologist who has a degree in Medical Radiation Science and is accredited by the ANZSNM.
After your procedure
How do I receive my results?
If your results are needed urgently, Envision Medical Imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately. Otherwise your referring doctor will receive your report within 48 hours of your examination. Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor to discuss the results.
Radiation from the injected radiopharmaceutical diminishes quickly, however there is still a very small amount of residual radioactivity left for up to 7 days after your scan. You are free to resume normal activities following the procedure (unless otherwise advised). If you are caring for a small child, or breastfeeding, we may ask you to take some minor precautions.