New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Nuclear Scintigraphy

Nuclear Medicine

The nuclear medicine program at New Bolton Center, begun in 1993 under the supervision of Dr. Michael Ross, has become one of the busiest programs of its kind in the world.

Nuclear medicine, commonly referred to as nuclear or bone scintigraphy, involves the administration of a radiopharmaceutical that preferentially binds to bone where there is injury or at sites of active bone formation. Used in conjunction with lameness examination and diagnostic analgesia, this modality is hugely important in identifying the cause of lameness.

New Bolton Center now offers the PET Scan

An Equine PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan is a nuclear medicine imaging technique, similar to scintigraphy, which is more commonly known as “bone scan”. There are several advantages to using PET scanning, including the ability to conduct this procedure while the horse is standing and sedated, instead of anesthetized.

  • Learn about the PET Scan modality...

  • Potential Candidates for Nuclear Scintigraphy

    Horses that might benefit from nuclear scintigraphy include:

    • Horses with suspected stress related bone injury
    • Horses in which radiographic images are negative or confusing
    • Horses in which pain causing lameness can be localized using nerve blocks but the cause of pain cannot be determined on radiography and ultrasonography
    • Horses with high-speed lameness or poor performance
    • Horses with numerous, subtle lameness abnormalities 
    • Horses with neck, back and pelvic problems
    • Horses with suspected soft tissue injury such as suspensory ligament, skeletal muscle or soft tissue structures in the navicular region

    Nuclear ScintImagery imagery

    Bone scan images are most valuable in horses in which a detailed lameness examination, done by your veterinarian or here at New Bolton Center, is completed before imaging and the results are then interpreted along with all other clinical and diagnostic information.  Horses must remain in the hospital for 24 hours after radiopharmaceutical administration to allow the radioactivity to subside.

    Meet the Imaging Team

    At New Bolton Center we provide our patients with a comprehensive and collaborative clinical approach, which starts with state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging. Our board-certified faculty and clinical staff are among the world's most experienced and respected in their fields.

    Our Collaborative Approach

    At New Bolton Center, we believe in collaboration across all services. If we find an issue with your animal while we are studying imaging results, we'll talk to you about how to best solve the problem.