Tag Archives: Nuclear medicine

Thyroid Scan

Introduction:-
A thyroid scan uses a radioactive tracer and a special camera to measure how much tracer the thyroid gland absorbs from the blood. A thyroid scan is done to find problems with the thyroid gland. A thyroid scan may be done to check for thyroid nodules, or it may be done with a radioactive iodine uptake test (RAIU) to check how well the thyroid gland is working.

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A thyroid scan can show the size, shape, and location of the thyroid gland. It can also find areas of the thyroid gland that are overactive or underactive. The camera takes pictures of the thyroid gland from three different angles. The radioactive tracer used in this test is either iodine or technetium.

A radioactive iodine uptake test measures the amount of radioactivity in your thyroid after you’ve been given a relatively small dose of radioactive iodine in pill form. Your thyroid gland absorbs iodine and uses it to make hormones. Therefore, the amount of radioactive iodine detected in your thyroid gland corresponds with the amount of hormone your thyroid is producing.

Another type of thyroid scan, a whole-body thyroid scan, may be done for people who have had thyroid cancer that has been treated. The whole-body scan can check to see if cancer has spread to other areas of the body.

Why It Is Done:-
A thyroid scan is done to:

*See whether thyroid nodules are present.
*Find the cause of an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
*See whether thyroid cancer has spread outside the thyroid gland. A whole-body thyroid scan will usually be done for this evaluation.

How To Prepare:-
For about a week before a thyroid scan, your doctor may ask you to avoid certain foods and medicines that can interfere with the results, including thyroid hormones and shellfish (which contain iodine). You might have to fast entirely for several hours beforehand if you’ll be given a radioactive iodine pill for the test.You might also need to have blood tests that check thyroid function.

The preparation for a radioactive iodine uptake test is almost the same as for a thyroid scan. However, because you are given radioactive iodine in pill form for an uptake test, you need to wait four to six hours, and possibly as long as a day, before having the scan. (This gives the radioactive iodine time to reach your thyroid.)

Tell your doctor if you:

*Take any medicines regularly. Be sure your doctor knows the names and doses of all your medicines. Your doctor will instruct you if and when you need to stop taking any of the following medicines that can change the thyroid scan test results.

*Thyroid hormones

*Antithyroid medicines

*Medicines that have iodine, such as iodized salt, kelp, cough syrups, multivitamins, or the heart medicine amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)

*Are allergic to any medicines, such as iodine. But even if you are allergic to iodine, you will likely be able to have this test because the amount used in the tracer is so small that your chance of an allergic reaction is very low.

*Have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from any substance, such as the venom from a bee sting or from eating shellfish.

*Have had bleeding problems or take blood thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).

*Have had any test using radioactive materials or iodine dye 4 weeks before the thyroid scan. These other tests may change the results of the thyroid scan.

*Are or might be pregnant.

*Are breast-feeding.

Before a thyroid scan, blood tests may be done to measure the amount of thyroid hormones (TSH, T3, and T4) in your blood.

To prepare for a thyroid scan:

*Do not eat for 2 hours before the test.

*Do not take any antithyroid medicine for 5 to 7 days before the test.

Your doctor may ask you to eat a low-iodine diet, especially if this test is being done to check for thyroid cancer.

Just before the test, you will remove your dentures (if you wear them) and all jewelry or metal objects from around your neck and upper body.

Before a thyroid scan, you need to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the thyroid scan and agree to have it done. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form .

How It Is Done
A thyroid scan is done in the nuclear medicine section of a hospital’s radiology department by a person trained in nuclear medicine (nuclear medicine technologist).

A radionuclide is either injected into a vein or given to you as a pill. Timing of the test then depends on the type of radionuclide your doctor uses, and whether you will also have an uptake test. If you are having only a thyroid scan and your doctor prefers to give a radionuclide by intravenous injection, the scan can be done within 30-60 minutes. If you are given radioactive iodine in pill form, you need to wait four to six hours, and possibly as long as a day, before having the scan. (This gives the radioactive iodine time to reach your thyroid.) If you’re having both a scan and the uptake test, you are likely to receive radioactive iodine in pill form. This allows one radionuclide to be used for both the scan and uptake test, instead of two, and eliminates the need for an injection.

After you’ve received the radionuclide and have waited the appropriate amount of time, a technician places a radioactivity detector-a camera specially designed to take pictures of radioactive objects – against your neck and takes several images. The camera itself doesn’t expose you to any radiation. This portion of the test usually takes about half an hour.

An uptake test only takes several minutes and is performed while you are sitting up. Using a device that resembles a Geiger counter, the doctor or technician places a probe several inches in front of your neck, where the thyroid gland is located, and measures the percentage of radioactivity that is retained by the thyroid gland. You return the next day for follow-up testing to obtain a second set of uptake readings, which are then compared with the first set to determine how much hormone has been formed and secreted in the interim.

If you get technetium, you may feel warm, flushed, and nauseated when it is given. Taking deep breaths to relax may relieve these feelings.

For this test, you will lie on your back with your head tipped backward and your neck extended. It is important to lie still during this test. A special camera (called a gamma scintillation camera) takes pictures of your thyroid gland from three different angles 4 to 6 hours after you took the iodine. The test takes about 10 minutes. Another scan is done again in 24 hours.

After a thyroid scan, you can do your regular activities. But you will be asked to take special precautions when you urinate. This is because your body gets rid of the radioactive tracer through your urine. This takes about 24 hours. It is important to flush the toilet and wash your hands thoroughly after each time you urinate.

How It Feels
You may find it uncomfortable to lie still with your head tipped backward.

Results:
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
For the thyroid scan, it takes an hour or more for the pictures to be developed and additional time for a radiologist to examine them. Your doctor will probably receive a report within a day or two. The scan will show the outline, shape, and position of your thyroid so that the doctor can determine whether it is enlarged and whether there are any suspicious growths or nodules. The scan also provides a rough measure of thyroid activity, although this has to be confirmed with a radioactive iodine uptake test.

Uptake test results are available immediately, but because the initial and follow-up readings must be compared, it may take your doctor a day or two to get back to you. To obtain results, your doctor determines an uptake value, which is the net result of how much iodine is picked up by the thyroid, how much is converted to hormone since the time of administration, and how much is either leaked or secreted into the bloodstream. (The thyroid normally secretes hormone in an orderly fashion based on physical needs; leakage is less controlled and indicates that the gland is damaged.) A low reading of radioactivity suggests that your thyroid gland has retained only a small amount of iodine. This generally indicates that the thyroid gland is not producing excess thyroid hormone, but has become inflamed and is unable to properly store the hormone, which then leaks into the bloodstream. A high reading suggests that your thyroid is overactive, producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormone.

A thyroid scan uses a radioactive tracer and a special camera to make a picture of the thyroid gland. The radioactive tracer used in this test is usually iodine or technetium. A thyroid scan is done to help find problems with the thyroid gland.

Thyroid scan  Normal: A normal thyroid scan shows a small butterfly-shaped thyroid gland about 2in. long and 2in. wide with an even spread of radioactive tracer in the gland.

Thyroid scan Abnormal: An abnormal thyroid scan shows a thyroid gland that is smaller or larger than normal. It can also show areas in the thyroid gland where the activity is less than normal (cold nodules) or more than normal (hot nodules). Cold nodules may be related to thyroid cancer.

A whole-body scan will show whether iodine is in bone or other tissue (iodine uptake) after the thyroid gland has been removed for cancer. The whole-body scan can check to see if cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/thyroid-scan.shtml
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/thyroid-scan

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Radionuclide Scan of the Kidneys

Definition
A radionuclide scan of the kidneys shows a picture of your kidneys while they are at work making urine.A kidney radionuclide scan, also called a kidney scan or renal scan, is a diagnostic imaging test that involves administering a small amount of radionuclide, also called a radioactive tracer, into the body and then imaging the kidneys with a gamma camera. The images obtained can help in the diagnosis and treatment of various kidney diseases and conditions. This test can be useful to evaluate infection, blockages, injury to the kidneys, and some causes of high blood pressure.

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Precautions
A kidney scan requires the use of a radioactive material; therefore, patients who are pregnant or suspect they may be pregnant are cautioned not to have the test unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Women should inform their doctor if they are breast feeding. The doctor will recommend the woman stop breast feeding for a specified period of time, depending on the particular tracer and dose used.

Description
Kidney scans are performed either in a hospital nuclear medicine department or in an outpatient radiology or nuclear medicine facility. The patient is positioned in front of, or under, a gamma camera—a special piece of equipment that detects the radiation emitted from the body and produces an image. An intravenous injection of the radionuclide is administered. Immediately after the injection imaging begins, and, in most studies, the flow of blood to each kidney is evaluated. Serial images of the kidneys are obtained over a specified period of time, depending upon the particular radiopharmaceutical used. Kidney scans may be performed to determine the rate at which the kidneys are filtering a patient’s blood. These studies use a radiopharmaceutical called technetium DTPA (Tc99m DTPA). This radiopharmaceutical also can identify obstruction in the renal collecting system. To establish the function of the renal tubules, the radiopharmaceutical Technetium DMSA (Tc99m DMSA) is used.

A kidney scan ranges from 45 minutes to three hours in length, depending upon the goals of the test, but the test typically takes about an hour to an hour and a half. It is important to understand that kidney scans can reveal an abnormality, but they do not always identify the specific problem. They are very useful in providing information about how the various parts of the kidneys function, which, in turn, can assist in making a diagnosis.

Typically, posterior images are obtained but images are also obtained at oblique angles. If indicated, the patient may be positioned so that mobility of the kidney is demonstrated by sitting up or lying down for the images. If obstruction or renal function is being evaluated, a diuretic (drug to induce urination), such as Lasix, may be injected. If hypertension or renal artery sterosis is being evaluated, Captopril or Enalapril (ACE inhibitors) may be injected.
Preparation
No special preparation is necessary for a kidney scan. In some instances the patient may be required to drink additional liquids and to empty their bladder before the exam. If another nuclear medicine study was recently performed, the patient may have to wait for a specified period to avoid any interference from residual radioactivity in the body. The patient is instructed to remove metal items from the area to be scanned.

Let your doctor know if you could be pregnant or if you are breast-feeding a baby. The medicine used in this test would expose your baby to radiation.

What happens when the test is performed.
You have an IV (intravenous) line placed into a vein. A slightly radioactive version of a substance called sodium pertechnetate is injected through the IV. This substance helps your kidneys and urine show up on pictures.

A camera that is specially designed to detect radioactivity is placed against your back or abdomen. A number of pictures are taken over time. The camera itself does not expose you to any additional radiation, so the number of pictures is not harmful in any way. The test is usually completed within an hour.

Risk Factors:
Many people worry when they hear that the medicine used in this test is slightly radioactive. In truth, this test exposes you to a very small amount of radiation-no greater than that of routine xrays.

Moreover, Nuclear medicine procedures are very safe. Unlike some of the dyes that may be used in x-ray studies, radioactive tracers rarely cause side effects. There are no long-lasting effects of the tracers themselves, because they have no functional effects on the body’s tissues. If pharmaceuticals are injected these can temporarily raise or lower blood pressure, or cause one to urinate.

Aftercare
Patients can resume their normal daily activities immediately after the test. Most radioactive tracers are excreted through the urinary system, so drinking fluids after a kidney scan can help flush the tracer out of the body more quickly.

Results
The scan should reveal normal kidney function for the patient’s age and medical status, as well as show normal relative position, size, configuration, and location of the kidneys. Initial blood flow images should reflect that blood circulation to both kidneys is equal. Patients whose images suggest a space-occupying lesion or obstruction may require other imaging procedures, such as CT or ultrasound, to provide more information. Also, if the kidneys appear to be abnormal in size, have an unusual contour, or are unusually positioned, other imaging procedures may be required.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/radionuclide-scan-of-the-kidneys.shtml
http://www.enotes.com/nursing-encyclopedia/kidney-radionuclide-scan

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Bone Scan

Alternative Names:Scintigraphy – bone

Definition:
The process of bone growth and renewal is part of your body’s metabolism — natural processes that create and use energy.

Changes in your bone metabolism can be caused by a number of problems. To get a picture of your bone metabolism, your doctor may order a procedure called a bone scan. A radiologist will look for evidence of abnormal metabolism on images from your bone scan.

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Your doctor may order a bone scan to help diagnose subtle or hidden bone fractures, such as a stress fracture, that may not show up on a routine X-ray. Bone scans can also help detect other conditions as well. It is a test that detects areas of increased or decreased bone metabolism (turnover). The test is performed to identify abnormal processes involving the bone such as tumor, infection, or fracture.
…...Nuclear Scan->
This is a nuclear scan, also called a radionuclide scan. In a bone scan, a radioactive tracer accumulates in places in your bones with a lot of repair activity. In this way, the tracer is used to identify areas that might be injured due to a fracture, bone infection, arthritis, or invading cancer. The tracer gives off gamma rays, which can be detected using a specialized camera. The camera relays information to a computer to produce images of the bones being scanned. In the images, bright spots appear in the areas where the tracer has collected. Bone scans are most frequently done for people with cancer to see if the cancer has spread to bones.

Why Bone Scan is Done:
Your doctor may order a bone scan to determine whether you have any bone abnormalities that may signify one of the following disorders:

*Fractures
*Arthritis
*Paget’s disease of bone
*Bone tumors
*Infection of the joints, joint replacements or bone (osteomyelitis)
*Fibrous dysplasia
*Avascular necrosis or impaired bone blood supply
*Unexplained bone pain

Your doctor may order a bone scan to determine whether cancer, such as prostate, lung or breast cancer, has spread (metastasized) to bone.

How the Test is Performed
A radiotracer (a bone-seeking radioactive material) is injected into vein, so it travels through the bloodstream. As the material wears away, it gives off radiation. This radiation is detected by a camera that slowly scans your body. The camera takes pictures of how much radiotracer collects in the bones.

If a bone scan is done to see if you have a bone infection, images will be taken shortly after the radioactive material is injected, as well as 3 to 4 hours later, when it has collected in the bones. This is called a 3-phase bone scan.

To evaluate metastatic bone disease, images are taken only after the 3 to 4 hour delay.

The scanning part of the test will last about 1 hour and may require you to change positions.

How do you prepare for the test?
No special preparation is required on your part before a bone scan, though you may be asked to remove jewelry or other metal objects. You can eat or drink anything you like before the test.

As with most tests, tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant. Bone scans aren’t usually performed on pregnant women because of concerns about radiation exposure to the fetus. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown.

What happens when the test is performed?
The test is performed in the radiology department of a hospital. You will be given a radionuclide. A machine with a specialized camera moves around you. The procedure is painless, but the machine can be noisy. The scan usually takes less than an hour.

There is a small amount of pain when the needle is inserted. During the scan there is no pain. You must remain still during the examination, and you will be instructed when to change positions by the technologist.

You may experience some discomfort due to lying still for a prolonged period of time.

Risk Factor.
The radioactivity you are exposed to is too small to cause side effects or complications except to a fetus. The small amount of radioactivity rapidly diminishes.If you are pregnant or nursing, the test may be postponed to prevent exposing the fetus to radiation.

The amount of radioactivity in the injection is very small, and virtually all activity is gone from the body within 2-3 days.

Although it is extremely rare with bone scanning agents, a person may develop rash, swelling, or anaphylaxis (severe allergic response).

There is a slight risk of infection or bleeding with any intravenous injection. The risk of an allergic reaction to the tracers is extremely rare.

You might find the injection and the need to lie still during the scanning procedure mildly uncomfortable.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Nothing.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Results are usually available within a few days.

What you can expect
A bone scan falls under the category of nuclear medicine procedures, which means that it uses tiny amounts of radioactive materials called tracers (radionuclides). These tracers accumulate in certain organs and tissues, such as bones. Once introduced into the body, tracers emit a type of radiation called gamma waves, which are detected by a special camera. This camera produces images that are interpreted by radiologists or nuclear medicine specialists.

In a sense, a nuclear procedure such as a bone scan is the opposite of a standard X-ray examination. An X-ray passes radiation into or through your body to create an image on film placed on the other side of your body. In a nuclear scan, the source of radiation is inside your body and travels to the surface, where a camera detects it.

A bone scan can be divided into two basic parts:

*The injection. You will receive an injection of tracers into a vein in your arm, and depending on the reason your doctor orders the scan, images of the injection may be taken immediately. You’ll then wait between two and four hours to allow the tracers to circulate and be absorbed by your bones. You may be allowed to leave the radiology department during this time. Your doctor will ask you to drink extra water to remove unabsorbed radioactive material from your system.

*The scan. During the scan, you’ll be asked to lie still on a table while a machine with an arm-like device supporting the gamma camera passes over your body to record the pattern of tracer absorption by your bones. This is painless. A scan of your entire skeleton takes as long as 60 minutes. Scanning a limited area of your body takes less time.
In some cases, your doctor might order a three-phase bone scan, which includes a series of images taken at different times. A number of images are taken as the tracer is injected, then shortly after the injection, and again three to four hours later.

For certain conditions your doctor might also order additional images called single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). This can help analyze conditions that are especially deep in your bone or in places that are difficult to see with static or two-dimensional (planar) images. The additional SPECT images take approximately 30 minutes.

After the test
Once inside your body, the tracers don’t remain active for long. The radioactivity is eliminated within two days. You should feel no side effects after the procedure, and no aftercare is necessary.

Results:
The radiologist looks for evidence of abnormal bone metabolism on the scans. These show up as darker “hot spots” and lighter “cold spots” where the tracers have or haven’t accumulated.

Although a bone scan is very sensitive to abnormalities in bone metabolism, it’s less helpful in determining the exact cause of the abnormality. However, a thorough medical history often reveals the cause, such as a suspected fracture, infection or bone tumor. Other tests may be performed to help establish the diagnosis. For instance, in order to rule out bone cancer, your doctor may need further imaging studies (computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging) or a biopsy, which is a sample of bone tissue that’s removed for examination.
Normal Results
Normal distribution areas appear uniform and gray throughout all the bones in your body.

What Abnormal Results Mean
The images should show that the radioactive material has been evenly distributed throughout the body. There should be no

areas of increased or decreased distribution. “Hot spots” are areas where there is an increased accumulation of the radioactive material. “Cold spots” are areas that have taken up less of the radioactive material.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/bone-scan.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bone-scan/
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003833.htm

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Bone Density Test for Osteoporosis

Definition:A bone density test uses special X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone.It measure the thickness and strength of your bones. Various scanners use different techniques, such as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and radiographic absorptiometry. Quantitative ultrasound, which does not involve x-rays, may also be used.
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When bones are somewhat thin, the condition is called osteopenia; when bones become very thin, the condition is called osteoporosis. Bone density tests provide a precise measure of whether you have osteopenia or osteoporosis.Men, and particularly women, usually begin to lose bone thickness around age 50. Exercise and various treatments can help prevent and even restore bone loss; that’s why diagnosing thin bones is important.Many authorities now recommend screening for thin bones. Not only is this test used to help detect osteoporosis, but it is also helpful in monitoring your progress if you’re taking bone-building medications.

A bone density test is a fairly accurate predictor of your risk. The results from a bone density test can let you know how you compare with other people of your age, sex and other similar characteristics.

Why it is required?
The higher your mineral content, the denser your bones are. And the denser your bones, the stronger they generally are and the less likely they are to break.

Doctors use a bone density test to determine if you have, or are at risk of, osteoporosis.

Bone density tests are not the same as bone scans. Bone scans require an injection beforehand and are usually used to detect fractures, cancer, infections and other abnormalities in the bone.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends routine bone density screening if:

You’re a woman age 65 or older
You’re 60 and at increased risk of osteoporosis
Research hasn’t yet determined the optimal interval for repeat bone density screenings, or the right age to stop screening. However, two or more years may be needed between tests to reliably measure a change in your bone density. Your doctor can recommend the best screening interval for you based on your personal medical history and osteoporosis risk factors.

The older you get, the higher your risk of osteoporosis because your bones become weaker as you age. Your race also makes a difference: you’re at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Southeast Asian descent, and African American and Hispanic men and women have a lower, but still significant, risk. Other risk factors for osteoporosis include low body weight, a personal history of fractures, a family history of osteoporosis and using certain medications that can cause bone loss.

Risk Factor:
The test doesn’t have any significant risks. Bone density tests that use x-rays expose you to about one-tenth the amount of radiation as in a single chest x-ray; this is too small an amount to be likely to cause any harm, except to a fetus in a pregnant woman.

Bone density testing is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and is a fairly accurate predictor of your risk of fractures. Significant differences in the various testing methods do exist, however. Central devices are more accurate, but cost significantly more than peripheral devices do.

Not all health insurance plans cover bone density tests, so ask your insurance provider whether it provides coverage that applies to your situation.

A bone density test can confirm that you have low bone density, but it can’t tell you why. To answer that question, you need a complete medical evaluation, including a history and physical. This information can help your doctor better interpret the results of the bone density test.

How do you prepare for the test?
Bone density tests are easy, fast and painless. Virtually no preparation is needed. In fact, some simple versions of the bone density tests can be done at your local pharmacy or drugstore.

If you’re having the test done at a medical center or hospital, be sure to tell your doctor beforehand if you’ve had recent oral contrast or nuclear medicine tests. These tests require an injection of radioactive tracers that might interfere with your bone density test.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you might be pregnant. A screening test that uses x-rays can’t be performed during pregnancy because it may increase the risk of birth defects.

What happens when the test is performed?

Bone density tests can be done in the radiology department of a hospital, a radiology diagnostic center, or a doctor’s office.You lie on a table that has an overhanging cover, resembling a tanning bed, while a radiologist or x-ray technician moves a scanner above your spine, hip, or wrist. The test takes 10-20 minutes. The test itself is painless, but you may experience some discomfort because you have to lie still.

The equipment for bone density tests includes large machines on which you can lie down (central devices) as well as smaller, portable machines that measure bone density on the periphery of your skeleton, such as in your finger, wrist or heel (peripheral devices).

Central devices
*DEXA scan. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans measure the bone density at your hip or spine. This test offers very precise results and is the preferred test for diagnosing osteoporosis. During this test, you lie on a padded platform for a few minutes while an imager — a mechanical arm-like device — passes over your body. It won’t touch you. The test does, however, emit radiation, though your exposure during a bone density test is commonly about one-tenth of the amount emitted during a chest X-ray. This test usually takes five to 10 minutes to complete.

*Quantitative CT scan. This test uses a computerized tomography (CT) scanner combined with computer software to determine your bone density, usually at your spine. Quantitative CT (QCT) scans provide detailed, 3-D images and can take into account the effects of aging and diseases other than osteoporosis on your bones. QCT scans emit more radiation than DEXA scans do. For a QCT test, you lie on a movable table that’s guided into a large tube-like area where images are taken. It typically takes less than 10 minutes.

Peripheral devices
Peripheral devices are found in pharmacies and are considerably less expensive than are central devices. But these smaller machines do have limitations.

Measurements taken at your hip and spine generally are considered more accurate assessments of your osteoporosis risk because these are the locations where major fractures tend to occur — fractures that can severely limit the quality and even the length of your life.

A test done on a peripheral location, such as your heel, may predict risk of fracture in your spine and hip as well. But because bone density tends to vary from one location to the other, a measurement taken at the heel usually isn’t as accurate as a measurement taken at the spine or hip.

Measurements of bone density in your heel or finger still can be used to screen for osteoporosis, though. If your test is positive, your doctor might recommend a DEXA scan at your spine or hip to confirm your diagnosis.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
You’ll get the results within a few days. The results will include two scores, the T-score and the Z-score. The T-score measures your bone density compared with the average values in young adults of the same race and sex. The Z-score shows how your bone density compares with that of people your own age, race, and sex. A positive T-score means your bones are stronger than the average in a young adult, and a negative score means that your bones are weaker. If you have a T-score that is between -1.0 and -2.5, you have osteopenia. If it is below -2.5, you have osteoporosis.

In general, the lower your bone density, the higher your risk of breaking a bone. Fractures of the hip are particularly disabling, and fractures of the spine are common and painful. Bone density measured at the hip and spine by DXA is regarded by most experts as the best predictor of hip and spine fracture. DXA also is excellent for diagnosing thin arm bones; wrist fractures occur more easily in people with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Fortunately, treatment options exist. Talk with your doctor.

Anything Must you do special after the test is over?
Nothing

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/bone-density-test-for-osteoporosis.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bone-density-test/MY00304/DSECTION=results
http://www.osteoporosisexpert.com/
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/17287.htm

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Proof That Fibromyalgia is Real

fibromyalgia

Researchers have detected abnormalities in the brains of people with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition whose symptoms include muscle pain and fatigue.Some researchers have suggested that the pain of fibromyalgia is the result of depression, but the new study suggests otherwise. The abnormalities were independent of anxiety and depression levels.

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Researchers evaluated 20 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia and 10 healthy women without the condition who served as a control group. The researchers performed brain imaging called single photon emission computed tomography, or SPECT.

The imaging showed that women with the syndrome had “brain perfusion” — blood flow abnormalities in their brains. The abnormalities were directly correlated with the severity of disease symptoms.

An increase in blood flow was found in the brain region known to discriminate pain intensity.

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