What can SPECT diagnose

What Can SPECT Diagnose?

by Monica Jaszczak

SPECT Scan: How can it help?

The Benefits of SPECT

A single-photon emission computerized tomography scan or SPECT scan is a unique medical imaging method that shows how well certain organs are functioning within the body. Through the use of radioactive materials and a specially designed gamma camera, the scan produces a 3-D image that is non-invasive and an excellent way for doctors to evaluate a patient’s health.

SPECT scans are usually performed at hospitals, clinics, and imaging centers. The nuclear imaging technique is one way to monitor brain and neurological conditions, cardiac conditions, and brain disorders. With the help of a radioactive “tracer” injected into the bloodstream that produces gamma rays, the special gamma camera can create a scan that monitors levels of biological activity. The information gathered by the camera (and tracer) creates more than just a “picture” of the anatomy. With the help of a special computer program, the scan can create 3-D images that help evaluate a patient’s symptoms and diagnose potential diseases.

Want to read more about the specifics of SPECT? Take a look at the following blog:

Purpose of Scan

SPECT scans can be used to create a true 3-D representation of a localized spot within the body such as organs, heart functionality, and brain imaging. The three main application of a SPECT scan are as follows:

  • Brain imaging: A SPECT scan can be used to gather information about changes in brain functionality. In fact, the scan can aid doctors in diagnosing traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, seizures, stroke, and other issues impacting the blood flow to the brain.
  • Cardiac imaging: A SPECT scan can also aid in capturing detailed images of how well your heart is working and potentially pinpoint the problems occurring within the heart. The scan can help a doctor determine if a patient has clogged arteries, scar tissue due to a heart attack, inefficient pumping of the blood, and whether bypass surgery is needed to remedy any of these issues.
  • Bone imaging: A SPECT scan can also help determine different bone disorders due to the tracer and how it will show up or “light up” with the help of the gamma camera. The SPECT technology can help show bone cancer or cancers that have formatted in areas of the bone, stress fractures, and bone infections.

SPECT imaging can also be helpful when dealing with tumors, parathyroid adenoma, and infection imaging (while cell scan).


A SPECT/CT scan is also a type of nuclear medical imaging that can create a combined image from two different types of scans. The combined scan can provide a much more precise, detailed, and comprehensive image of how different body parts are functioning. The combination of both a SPECT and CT scan will provide quality images of the abnormality, while also allowing the doctor to narrow down the specific area where the problem is occurring.

Are there risks involved in SPECT?

While SPECT is a rather harmless scan, there are some individuals who cannot partake in the process. Pregnant and nursing women and anyone who shows signs of an allergic reaction in regards to the tracer. While no long-term health risks are associated with the scan, the tracer is a low dose of radiation.

The Benefits

SPECT is a valuable and effective imaging tool that has improved diagnostic accuracy and added in both targeted treatment plans and personalized care for patients. SPECT is one of the most well-established modality and widely available around the world.


At Data Spectrum Corporation (DSC), we are the world’s leading supplier of high-quality SPECT phantoms and offer a wide range of inserts for the effective evaluation of multiple performance characteristics of any ECT camera. Whether it is a SPECT or positron system, our phantoms and related accessories provide medical imaging investigators with the ability to test imaging equipment and validate that the medical imaging is done correctly and accurately.

Want to learn more about phantoms?

A phantom is more than just a scientific device; it is a “stand-in” for human tissue and a way to ensure that the systems and methods for imaging a human body are operating correctly. If you want to learn more about what a phantom does and how it works, take a look at the following blogs.

Want to learn more about Data Spectrum Corporation (DSC)?

If you would like to learn more about DSC and our products, feel free to call us at (919) 732-6800 or submit an inquiry at spect.com/contact-us.
If you would like to learn more about DSC, take a look at the following blogs:

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If you would like to learn more about our products or want to talk with someone about the use of our Phantom products to obtain ACR accreditation feel free to call us at (919) 732-6800 or complete our contact form.

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