Before the start of these diagnostic procedures, (scintigraphy) the patient eats a radiolabeled food for the radioactive isotope to concentrate in the organ under examination. The character of the movement of the substance in the tested organ is tracked and studied, helping doctors detect any disorders of this organ.
Radionuclide scanning is used to examine the liver during diagnosis of hepatitis, cirrhosis, any neoplasms as well as to study other organs (thyroid gland, kidneys) participating in the progression of gastrointestinal pathologies.
Radioactive isotopes are also employed to study the absorption in the small intestine, to determine the nature of the disorders and localization of the bile-excreting system lesions, to evaluate the characteristics of pathological processes in the pancreas and circulatory disturbance of the liver.
During this scanning, the patient receives a dose of radiation, but it does not exceed the levels of radiation received during chest X-ray and computed tomography. The radioactive isotopes used for the test are removed from the body soon after the exam; thus, they do not exert a damaging impact.
To be able to undergo this test, the patient should stop taking any medications 12-24 hours before the procedure.