What is the role of bone scanning in the workup of osteoporosis?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019
  • Author: Monique Bethel, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Bone scanning assesses the function and tissue metabolism of organs by using a radionuclide (technetium-99m [99m Tc]) that emits radiation in proportion to its attachment to a target structure. This technique detects an increase in osteoblastic activity (as seen in compression fractures).

Images may be obtained in three phases of the bone scanning process (immediate-flow study, immediate static blood pool study, and delayed static study). Acute fractures are visible in all phases of bone scanning and may remain beyond the reference range for up to 2 years.


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