The spect examination examines the metabolic activity of tissues or organs. Read more about spect and spect / ct!


The SPECT (short for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) is a special form of CT examination. With their help, the doctor can represent the metabolism in various organs. Therefore, it is used, for example, in circulatory disorders of the heart or diseases of the brain. Read all important information about the SPECT, how it works and what risks it poses.


Product Overview


  • What is a SPECT?

  • When do you perform a SPECT?

  • What do you do with a SPECT?

  • What risks does a SPECT pose?

  • What do I have to consider after a SPECT?

What is a SPECT?

The SPECT examination is a diagnostic measure in the field of nuclear medicine. The abbreviation SPECT stands for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, in German: single photon emission computed tomography (also Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography). It is an investigative procedure that can be used to represent metabolic processes in various organs. The doctor uses radioactive substances, the so-called tracers.

Special shape: SPECT / CT

The SPECT is well suited for assessing the metabolism of individual organs. However, their structure can not be judged by this - conventional imaging, for example X-ray or computed tomography (CT), is necessary for this. However, there is also a combination of SPECT and CT: The SPECT / CT combines the information about the structure of an organ with that about its functionality.

When do you perform a SPECT?

A SPECT (like scintigraphy) provides information about the functioning of an organ or tissue. Often the doctor uses SPECT to examine the heart and control its circulation and vitality. For example, he can detect coronary heart disease (CHD), in which the heart is not adequately supplied with blood through the narrowing of the blood vessels.

Other applications of the SPECT include:

  • Change in bone metabolism (in tumors or bone inflammations)
  • Diseases of the brain (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy or Parkinson's disease)
  • hormone-producing tumors (neuroendocrine tumors)

What do you do with a SPECT?

The examination can be carried out both in a specialized medical practice and in the hospital. First, the doctor places a venous access to the patient via a needle in the elbow or back of the hand. He can also administer a calming remedy if the patient so wishes. Above all, he uses the access but to bring the radioactive tracer material. This is now distributed over the bloodstream in the body. It can take a few minutes or even hours to accumulate in the organ to be examined. The patient should lie relaxed and relaxed during this period in order not to influence the metabolism.

Now the patient is driven on the examination couch through the curved SPECT unit. This now takes pictures of the corresponding organ from which a computer creates a three-dimensional image.

The duration of the examination can be over one hour. The patient is not left alone during this time, but is looked after by assistants or the doctor. If he feels so uncomfortable, he can report and stop the investigation.


What risks does a SPECT pose?

The SPECT itself is a painless exam for the patient. Only the administration of the radioactive tracers can cause pain or infection in the puncture site and cause injury to nerves or vessels. Intolerance to the tracer is extremely rare.

What do I have to consider after a SPECT?

After the SPECT, if you have been given a tranquilizer, you must not drive a vehicle. It is best to organize someone to pick you up from your appointment.

Many patients are scared to mention the word "radioactive" and worry about radiation damage. In fact, the amount of radiation the patient is exposed to during the examination is very small. The duration of the radiation efficiency depends on the tracer used. In most cases this is technetium. This decays after administration in the body very quickly, so that after about 24 hours as good as no radioactivity is present. Depending on which radioactive substance is used, the doctor will discuss with the patient exactly if and if so what precautions he should take after theSPECT must pay attention.

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