Bone Scan: Nuclear Medicine :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Bone Scan: Nuclear Medicine

A bone scan is a test that is done to look for problems in the bones. A tiny amount of radioactive material is injected into your child's vein and goes into the blood. After about 2 to 3 hours, it collects in the bones. This helps to show the bones clearly with a special camera. The test is done in the Imaging and Nuclear Medicine area of the Radiology Department.

  • No Sedation

 

Bring your child to:

Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Registration Desk, first floor of the main building of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

 

 

 

 

APPOINTMENT:

Date________________________

Arrival Time_______________________

Procedure Time ______________

If you need to cancel your appointment or reschedule, call (614) 722-6200.

  • With Anesthesia

 

Bring your child to:

Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Registration Desk, first floor of the main building of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
After the injection you will be instructed to go to the Crossroads Registration Area, where your child will get ready for anesthesia. An anesthesiologist will talk with you about the medicine to make your child sleepy, and to get consent.
 
 
APPOINTMENT:

Date________________________

Arrival Time_______________________

Procedure Time ______________

If you need to cancel your appointment or reschedule, call (614) 722-6200.

How to Prepare for the Test

If your child will not need sedation, unless his or her doctor gives you other instructions, nothing special is needed to get ready for this test.
If your child is having general anesthesia (sleeping medicine) please follow the directions that the Procedure Center will give you the night before the test.

During the Test

Image of bone scan

Picture 1: The large camera takes pictures of your child’s body.

  • The technologist will tell you and your child what will be done during the test.
  • An IV will be started and an injection will be given into the vein for this test. The needle will be removed after the injection, if your child is not having anesthesia.
  • If your child needs to be given anesthetic (sleeping medicine) the IV will stay in until the test is over.
  • A very small amount of radioactive material, which has been measured and is safe, will be injected into your child's vein. This radioactive material stays in the body a very short time after the test.
  • You and your child may leave the Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Department for 2 to 3 hours. You will be told when to return.
  • In the Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Department, your child will lie on his back on a padded table (Picture 1). Most children under 6 years of age need help to hold still.
  • If your child is being given anesthetic, he will be connected to a heart monitor and an oxygen monitor so the nurse can check his heart rate and breathing during the test. The nurse and doctor will stay with your child during the test.
  • Your child's bladder needs to be empty for the test to be accurate. If he cannot urinate (pass water) before the test, a soft tube (catheter) will be placed in the bladder to drain the urine. The catheter will be taken out as soon as the urine has drained out of the bladder.
  • A large camera under and over the table is used to take pictures of the bones. The camera does not touch or hurt your child. The camera moves from the child’s head to toes, taking pictures of the entire body.
  • Your child must lie very still for about 1 hour to complete the scan. Older children may enjoy seeing their bones appear on the TV monitor as the scan is done.
  • Parents may stay with their child during the test. The test takes 45 to 60 minutes.

After the Test

  • If your child has been given anesthetic (sleeping medicine) he will need to stay in the Procedure Center for 30 to 60 minutes after the test is done. He must be fully awake before he can go home. If he is a patient in the hospital, after waking up, he will be taken back to his room.
  • It takes about half a day for the test results to be completed. The report of the test will be sent to your child’s doctor within 48 hours. The doctor will talk to you about the results of the test and the plan for your child’s medical care.

Follow-Up Appointment

Call the office or clinic for a follow-up appointment.
 
If you have any questions about this test, be sure to ask the doctor or nurse, or call the Nationwide Children's Hospital Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Department at (614) 722-9187.
 
 
 
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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000