Can the Diagnostic Accuracy of Bone Scintigraphy Be Maintained with Half the Scanning Time?

J Nucl Med Technol. 2021 Dec;49(4):330-333. doi: 10.2967/jnmt.121.262163. Epub 2021 Jul 30.


We aimed to show that the acquisition time of a conventional bone scan could be reduced by half without losing the diagnostic value of the scan. Methods: Fifty adult patients (37 male and 13 female; mean age, 62.5 y; SD, 8.7 y) were enrolled. The patients were injected with 925-1,110 MBq (25-30 mCi) of 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate intravenously. The standard-protocol whole-body planar images were acquired first (scan speed, 10 cm/min; acquisition time, ∼20 min) and were followed immediately by the half-time protocol whole-body planar images (scan speed, 20 cm/min; acquisition time, ∼10 min). Both sets of images were interpreted by 2 nuclear medicine physicians. Each reviewer, when reviewing the standard-protocol images, was self-masked to the result he or she had obtained when reviewing the half-time images, and vice versa. This self-masking was accomplished by allowing a minimum of 2 wk to elapse between the 2 interpretations. We used the κ-coefficient to compare agreement between the standard-protocol results and the half-time results. Results: There was no difference in clinically significant diagnostic information between the half-time and standard protocols. The diagnostic quality of half-time and standard-protocol images did not significantly differ (0.86 < κ < 1.0). Conclusion: Our data suggest that if we reduce the 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate dose by half and keep the acquisition time at its standard value, we gain the benefit of reduced dose without loss of diagnostic value.

Keywords: 99mTc-MDP bone scan; Image Wisely; half-time acquisition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate