Technical considerations for optimal orthopedic imaging

Semin Nucl Med. 1997 Oct;27(4):328-33. doi: 10.1016/s0001-2998(97)80005-0.


Over the past 25 years bone scintigraphy has played an essential role in most Nuclear Medicine departments, accounting for 25% to 60% of the patient volumes. No longer is every bone scan ordered as part of a metastatic workup. Today radionuclide bone imaging (RNBI) is included in most orthopedic diagnostic pathways. It is necessary to optimize the bone scan procedure to be sensitive, to carefully localize abnormal uptake for diagnosis, to correlate the bone scans, plain radiographs, computed tomographic (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance (MR) scans that accompany the patient, and to be precise in reporting a final impression. This can be done through meticulous attention to the image acquisition so that it encompasses not only equipment specifications and acquisition parameters, but also patient history, preparation, imaging protocols, positioning, and image correlation. The importance of these considerations, the rationale to explain them, and suggested guidelines for their implementation will be discussed in this article.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon