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

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine, commonly referred to as nuclear or bone scintigraphy, involves the administration of a radiopharmaceutical that 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 can assist in identifying the cause of lameness.

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, or 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.