What is an MIBG scan?

A nuclear imaging test called an MIBG scan can assist medical professionals in identifying and evaluating certain tumors. A limited quantity of radioactive material is injected for imaging.

MIBG - iodine-131-meta-iodobenzylguanidine Iodine, a radioactive chemical, is injected as a tracer in your bloodstream during a MIBG scan. The tracer is detected by a special camera, which then captures pictures within your body.

It’s also called:

  • Iobenguane scan
  • Metaiodobenzylguanidine scan
  • MIBG scintigraphy
  • MIBG scintiscan

What is the use of an MIBG scan?

MIBG scans are used by medical professionals to identify certain cancers that begin in neuroendocrine cells that produce hormones, including:

  • Carcinoid growths (neuroendocrine tumors).
  • Rare cancer known as neuroblastoma, which affects nerve cells, mostly affects youngsters under the age of five.
  • Thyroid tumor or medullary thyroid cancer.
  • A tumor in the adrenal glands or other regions of your body is called a pheochromocytoma.

Who performs MIBG imaging?

The nuclear medicine physicians do MIBG scanning. They are medical professionals focusing on employing imaging technologies to identify and treat illnesses. Typically, the tests are performed at a hospital's nuclear medicine department.


What happens during the test?

MIBG scintigraphy is performed over several days in stages:

  • The tracer is injected by a medical professional into a vein of the arm.
  • To circulate throughout your body, the tracer requires around 24 hours.
  • You have to come the next day for your first scan.
  • You will be asked to take off all of your jewelry and clothing and put on a hospital gown by your medical staff.
  • On a table, while you are lying perfectly motionless, a scanner will move on your body while taking photographs of it.
  • For further scans, the majority of patients must come back the next day or across many days.

How to prepare for the test?

The day before the test, you will be instructed to take an iodine-containing drug, often known as Lugol's solution, by your doctor. The drug aids in shielding your thyroid from radioactive material. You may need to continue taking it for a few days following.

Your doctor could advise you to stop taking certain medications that could affect the test before a MIBG scan, such as:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Allergy and cold medications
  • Amiodarone
  • Antidepressants
  • Calcium channel blockers.
  • Opioids

Inform your doctor about any medicine you use, including prescription and non-prescription. Before having an MIBG scan, they will clarify which medications you should stop using and for how long.


What are the risks associated with a MIBG scan?

The MIBG scan is highly secure. There is a slight chance the tracer injection will raise blood pressure. But, after a day or two, blood pressure usually invariably returns to normal. After the injection, your doctor might want you to remain in the clinic for an additional 30 minutes so they can monitor your blood pressure.

The test might not be suitable for pregnant individuals since the radioactive tracer can damage a growing fetus.


Understanding the results

Normal Results: When the results are normal, it means that there are no signs of a tumor.

Abnormal Results: Abnormal results may indicate:

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasias (MEN) II
  • Carcinoid tumor
  • Neuroblastoma

Talk to your doctor for detailed understanding of any abnormal results in the reports.


Important information to know about MIBG scan?

MIBG scintigraphy is an outpatient procedure. A patient getting this scan can return home the same day.

The radioactive material will leave your body over the course of a few days. Consume a lot of liquids to assist your body to eliminate it through your stool and urine. After using the restroom, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any MIBG residue.

If you're still nursing, you should utilize the formula for at least a full day following the injection.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an MIBG scan?

The MIBG is a nuclear scan test that locates or confirms the existence of pheochromocytoma and neuroblastoma, which are cancer types of nerve tissue.

How accurate is an MIBG scan?

The results of an MIBG scan are around 80% to 85% accurate.

Who performs MIBG scintigraphy?

A Nuclear medicine physician will perform an MIBG scan.

Can you eat before the MIBG scan?

Before an MIBG scan, you should avoid some medication and caffeine (tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks) for 24 hours before your first appointment. You can eat normally.

What cancer does an MIBG scan detect?

MIBG scan detects neuroendocrine tumors, such as neuroblastomas and pheochromocytomas.

When can I get reports of the MIBG scan?

The MIBG scan test is conducted in phases over the course of 2 days. The radioactive MIBG will be injected into a vein in your arm or hand on the first day. As the test is done in steps, it might take 2 - 4 days to get the reports.

How much time does an MIBG scan take?

Each scan in the MIBG test will take around 1 to 2 hours.

Are MIBG scans safe?

The MIBG scan is highly secure. There is a slight chance that the tracer injection will raise blood pressure. But, after a day or two, blood pressure usually invariably returns to normal.

What is the cost of the MIBG Scan test?

MIBG Scan might cost approximately Rs. 15000 to 16000, depending on certain factors.

Where can I get the MIBG scan test in Hyderabad?

You can get an MIBG scan test at Medicover Hospitals along with other tests.

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