SPECT-CT scan

Single photon emission computed tomography scan

A type of imaging using radioactive tracers

About SPECT CT scanning

A SPECT-CT scan is made up of two separate elements, a SPECT scan and a CT scan. The images from each scan are merged together to create the SPECT-CT scan. The process provides more accurate information about the anatomy and function of the area being scanned and makes it easier to identify problems.

Need to know

  • What happens during a SPECT CT scan? icon plus

    The first part of the test (the SPECT scan) involves injecting a radioactive tracer, which will take approximately 10 minutes. Once this is completed, you can leave the department and get on with your day but you'll have to return three to four hours later.

    Your consultant will then do a series of CT scans which take approximately 60 minutes. You will get more specific information regarding timings on the morning of your test. You will have to stay as still as you can for the duration of the scans. Our team will make you feel as comfortable as possible to help make sure you do this. All scans are painless and quiet.
  • How to prepare for your scan icon plus

    Since you will be ingesting a radioactive tracer it is important that you let your consultant know if you are pregnant (or think you could be) or breastfeeding. This treatment might not be right for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You will need to have the entire day free as you will need to return for further scans following the initial test. Please make sure you are well-hydrated and drink lots on the day of the scan.
  • After your scan icon plus

    You should keep yourself well hydrated for 24 hours following the scan, and make sure you regularly empty your bladder. This allows radioactivity to be discharged from your body through your urine. The SPECT-CT images will be analysed by a radiologist and the findings will be passed to your consultant, who will discuss the results with you in a follow-up appointment.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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