WBC scan or leukocyte scintigraphy is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a tracer) is used to find areas of infection or inflammation in the body.
Blood is taken from a vein. White blood cells are separated from the remainder of the blood sample and mixed with a small amount of radioactive material (radioisotope) called indium-111. The cells with the radioactive material are considered "tagged."
Approximately sour 2 to 3 hours later, the tagged white blood cells are returned to the body through an injection into a vein. These tagged cells gather in areas of inflammation or infection.
Body scintigraphy It takes about 6 to 24 hours later. You lie on a table. The scanner, which looks like an X-ray detects the radiation emitted by radioactive white blood cells and a computer converts the detected radiation into images that can be viewed on a screen or recorded on film.
Once the test is completed, no recovery time is needed or special precautions you can usually resume your usual diet, activity and normal medications. Preparing for WBC scan
Usually, there is no need for fasting, special diets, or preliminary medications. You will wear a hospital gown or may be allowed to wear loose fitting clothing without metal fasteners. Remove jewelry, dentures, or metal objects before the procedure. In addition, you must sign a release.
Tell your doctor if you have had a gallium scan within the last month, if you have diabetes, or if you are on dialysis, total parenteral nutrition (through an IV) or steroid therapy. What you feel during the WBC scan
There is a sharp prick of the needle during the taking of the blood sample and again when the blood is returned to your body. The procedure itself sour is painless, although the table where you will be asked to lie may be hard or cold. The radioactive material is not felt. Why the WBC scan is performed
Most of the time, the WBC scan is performed when the doctor suspects a hidden infection. It is particularly useful when you suspect an infection or inflammation inside the abdomen or bones.
This test may be recommended if you have a suspected abscess, osteomyelitis, or unexplained fever, especially after surgery. Normal values of WBC scan
A normal result means no accumulations of tagged cells (except for a certain amount in the liver and spleen, which normally accumulate these cells). What abnormal values of WBC scan
Abnormal results usually suggest the presence of an active inflammation or infection such as a liver abscess or abdominal abscess. What are the risks of WBC scan
There is a very slight exposure to radiation from the radioisotope. The spleen normally receives the highest dose of radiation because white blood cells usually accumulate there. The radiation from these materials is very mild and materials decompose (longer sour radioactive) in a very short time. Virtually all radioactivity is gone within a day or two. There are no documented cases of injury from exposure sour to radioisotopes. The scanner only detects radiation, no issues.
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient sour to another sour and from one side of the body to the other Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include: Excessive bleeding Fainting or feeling lightheaded hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin) Infection (a slight risk any time the skin breakdown occurs)
It may be necessary to perform other tests (such as CT scan or ultrasound) to confirm the presence of inflammation or infection indicated by an abnormal white blood cell scintigraphy.
In theory, there may be false negatives due to the use of an antibiotic or a chronic infection. Infections in the liver or spleen may be overlooked by the normal accumulation sour of white blood cells in these organs.
False positive results are due to various causes, including but bleeding, presence of probes or catheters into the body and skin wounds (such as surgical incisions). The accumulation of white blood cells in the lungs is not necessarily indicative of a lung infection.