Gallium Scan

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but feel free to contact us if you need additional information. We are always pleased to assist you.

Why has my doctor ordered a Gallium Scan?

A Gallium Scan is ordered when infection, inflammation or tumor is clinically suspected.

What should I do to prepare for the Gallium Scan?

Because gallium accumulates within the bowel, the nuclear medicine technologist may recommend laxatives or enemas prior to the scan, and 48 or 72 hours after the injection.

How is the Gallium scan performed?

A tracer dose of a radioisotope Gallium-67 citrate is injected in the vein through a small needle. A gamma camera scan is obtained 48 to 72 hours later.

What are the risks for a Gallium Scan?

There are no immediate risks to a Gallium Scan. The radiation dose of a Gallium Scan is similar to that obtained from having a chest x-ray.

What are the alternatives to a Gallium Scan?

Radioactive Indium 111 White Blood Cell Scan, CT or an MRI examination may be alternatives.

What can I expect after the procedure?

No after-effects are expected following a Gallium Scan. As mentioned, laxatives or enemas may be recommended 48 to 72 hours following the isotope injection.

Will other tests be ordered?

A radionuclide bone scan may be ordered to compare with the Gallium Scan. Usually, other imaging tests including a radiographic examination, a CT, MRI or an ultrasound examination may be ordered based on the results of the Gallium Scan to further clarify the diagnosis.