By using bone scintigraphy, tumor metastases in the bone can be identified even before they become visible in the X-ray image.
Bone scintigraphy (also: skeletal scintigraphy) is a special nuclear medical examination method in which the accumulation of a previously administered radioactive drug in the bone is measured. The distribution pattern and the stored amount of the active substance allow conclusions to be drawn about increased bone metabolism, as occurs, among other things, in metastases (metastases) of prostate carcinomas.
In contrast to radiological examination procedures (CT/MRI), which primarily visualize changes in the structure of the bone, scintigraphy primarily provides information about unusual changes in bone metabolism. However, abnormal scintigraphic findings are not evidence of metastases. They can also occur in benign bone diseases or in signs of wear and tear in the joints (osteoarthritis).
Bone scintigraphy should be performed in prostate cancer patients to exclude tumor metastasis to bone whenever larger prostate carcinomas (PSA > 20 ng/ml) or more aggressive tumor types (Gleason score > 7) are involved.
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