Ceretec White Blood Cell Scan

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?      A ceretec white blood cell scan is a nuclear medicine exam which combines a small amount of radioisotope with a pharmaceutical that is targeted to go to a specific organ. This radiopharmaceutical can be injected, inhaled or swallowed and is absorbed by specific cells within your body. Nuclear medicine exams differ from other radiological exams in that they provide both functional and structural information. The exams are very sensitive and can detect disease at its earliest stage. The exams are safe, relatively painless and the radiation exposure is similar to that of other diagnostic X-Ray exams.


Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • It is helpful if you can hydrate prior to the first appointment.
  • This exam consists of three appointments over a 6 hour span. You will be allowed to leave in between each appointment. There are no food restrictions during this exam.


Why is this Exam Done?

This is a safe, simple, non-invasive way to evaluate the tissues of your body for the presence of infection or abscess.

What Will Happen During the Exam?

An intravenous line (IV) will be placed in an arm vein for the purpose of withdrawing your blood. Approximately 60 milliliters of blood will be withdrawn. This blood will be sent to and processed by an independent radio pharmacy in order to separate your white blood cells (WBC's) from the rest of the blood components. These WBC's will be tagged with the Ceretec in order to make them radioactive.

  1. After your blood has been withdrawn you will be asked to return in 3 hours.
  2. Your now radioactive WBC's will be administered into a vein in your arm.
  3. Unless instructed otherwise, you will be asked to come back for your scan in 2 - 3 hours.
  4. Upon your return, several images will be obtained. The imaging time is between 30-60 minutes.
  5. Abdominal and chest images will be taken to demonstrate the efficiency of the WBC tag.
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How Should I Prepare?


Please wear comfortable clothing.

Food and Drink

You may eat and drink before and during the exam.

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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefit of a Ceretec WBC scan

      This scan is done to look for infection. It is very useful in looking for infection or inflammation in the abdomen or bones.

Risks you should be aware of:

There are no risks associated with this procedure.

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Where Can I Get This Exam?

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