What is a gallium scan test?

A gallium scan is a test to check for cancer, infection or swelling (inflammation) in the body. It is a form of nuclear medicine examination and employs the radioactive substance gallium.

What are the uses of a gallium scan test?

Using a gallium scan, you can determine the following:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma (it is a type of cancer).
  • Osteomyelitis infection(bone infection).
  • Abscess (collection of pus).
  • Inflammatory diseases (for example, pulmonary fibrosis or sarcoidosis).

When a person develops a fever for an unidentified reason, the test is frequently utilized. After the therapy, it routinely searches for any leftover cancer cells.

How is the test administered?

For the Gallium scan test, your vein will get an injection of gallium. Gallium is a radioactive substance. Gallium circulates in the blood and accumulates in bones and certain organs.

Your doctor will advise you to schedule a later appointment for the scan. The scan will happen six to forty-eight hours after the gallium injection.

The length of the test is determined by the condition your doctor is checking for. People have occasionally been scanned more than once.

The scanning table is where you will be lying on your back. Where the gallium has amassed in the body is discovered using a specialized camera.

The 30- to 60-minute scan requires you to remain still.

The injection will cause a strong prick to occur in your skin. For a few minutes, the area can hurt.

Holding motionless throughout the scan is the most difficult aspect. The scan itself causes no discomfort. Before the scan starts, the technician can assist in making you more comfortable.

How to prepare for the test?

The test can be impacted by bowel feces. The night before the exam, you might need to take a laxative. You might also have an enema one to two hours before the exam. You can eat and drink liquids.

A consent form needs to be signed by you. Before the exam, you must remove any jewelry and metal items.

What are the risks of the gallium test?

There is very little risk of radiation exposure. This risk is lower than that associated with CT or X-rays. If at all possible, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young infants should avoid radiation exposure.

Understanding results

Normal Results

Gallium normally collects in bones, the liver, the spleen, the large bowel, and breast tissue.

Abnormal Results

Gallium detected outside normal areas can be a sign of:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Tumors, including Hodgkin disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma
The test may be done to look for lung conditions such as:
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Respiratory infections, most often Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma of the lung Tumors in the lung

Important information

A gallium scan won't always detect all tumors. The scan could reveal inflammatory lesions, such as recent surgical scars. But they don't always mean you have an infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the use of a gallium scan?

The cells in your body that are dividing the most quickly can be found with a gallium scan. Some cancer cells can be found in it. Additionally, it may be used to identify cells in your body that are quickly proliferating or reacting to an infection. Gallium scans may be necessary for those with lymphoma (lymphatic system malignancy).

2. What all conditions do a gallium scan test detect?

With a gallium scan, the following can be detected:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Abscess
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis

3. How long does a gallium scan test take?

A specialized camera locates the bodily regions where gallium has accumulated. The scan might take 30- to 60 minutes.

4. How accurate is a gallium scan?

Gallium scanning provides 100% specific and accurate results.

5. What is the cost of a gallium scan?

The cost of a Gallium scan in India varies from Rs. 10000 to Rs. 17000

6. What is a gallium scan?

A gallium scan is a nuclear medicine examination. In the body, it may detect cancer, infection, and inflammation. In order to perform a gallium scan, a medical professional injects a little quantity of radioactive substance into your blood. The gallium inside of your body is then captured on video using a specialized device.

7. What are the side effects of a gallium scan?

There can be some side effects of this test such as:

  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hives, itching, or skin rash.
  • Puffiness or swelling around the eyes, and face.

8. Can a gallium scan detect cancer?

A gallium scan can help to detect only some cancer cells. Not all cancers can be detected by this test.

9. Do you need to fast for a gallium scan?

There is no preparation required for a gallium scan. There's no need to fast before the test. Sometimes, the doctor might ask to use a laxative in order to clear the bowels before the scan.

10. Where can I get a gallium scan in Hyderabad?

You can get a gallium scan at Medicover Hospitals.