What is a SPECT-CT Scan?

A SPECT-CT scan is an advanced imaging scan used to identify many types of cancer and track your progress during the different stages of your cancer journey. It’s a type of nuclear medicine imaging, much like a PET-CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) scan, utilising precise imaging techniques. SPECT-CT scans can also be referred to as a nuclear medicine scan.

At GenesisCare, we use SPECT-CT scans primarily for tumour imaging to help diagnose, manage and plan treatment. We also use them for thyroid imaging, kidney imaging or bone imaging. This helps us keep an eye on how your treatment is going. 

One of our expert consultants will assess each scan carefully before providing your referring clinician with your results. At a follow-up appointment, your clinician will help you understand what your results mean and discuss your treatment options.

At GenesisCare, SPECT-CT scans are available at our Windsor centre. We aim to provide scans within five working days of a referral, with your results sent to your doctor within 48 hours of the scan. We also offer a wide range of scan options at our partner hospital, The Cromwell, in London.

Book an appointment

Contact us today to book an appointment for fast access to advanced diagnostics or if you’d like a second opinion.

020 392 75067
020 392 75067

How does a SPECT-CT scan work?

A SPECT-CT scan combines two diagnostic techniques, SPECT and CT imaging, to give detailed 3D images of your body. We often use these scans to show where cancers are or track your cancer treatment progress. Using these scans together is more accurate in diagnosing cancer than a SPECT scan or CT scan alone.

A CT scan creates a detailed image of the inside of your body by using X-rays to take scans from different angles. Then, a computer uses the scans to create a 3D image. 

A SPECT scan is taken after you’ve had an injection of a small amount of radioactive material known as a radiotracer. The radiotracer accumulates in specific areas of your body, such as cancer cells, and is detected by the SPECT scanning equipment.

By merging a SPECT and a CT scan,  a 3D image of your body is generated, accurately showing where the radiotracer has collected so that we can pinpoint precisely where cancer cells are or any other areas of interest.

Types of radiotracers and their uses

We use a specific type of radiotracer depending on what we’re looking for during the scan. These radiotracers are radioactive, but your exposure to harmful radiation is minimal. We provide more information about this in the following sections.

What’s the difference between a SPECT-CT and a PET-CT scan?

Both PET-CT scans and SPECT-CT scans work in similar ways. The main difference is the type of radiotracers that are used. Radiotracers used during PET-CT scans release a different type of radiation, and so they need a different kind of scanning equipment to be detected.

Why do I need a SPECT-CT scan?

Your consultant may suggest you need a SPECT-CT scan so we can:

  • Detect cancer
  • Stage your cancer (find out its size and see if it’s spread)
  • Determine if you can have surgery to remove your cancer
  • Choose your treatment options
  • Plan radiotherapy treatment
  • See how well your cancer is responding to treatment or if it’s come back

A SPECT-CT image is particularly useful as it can look at your bones or whole body.

How much does a SPECT-CT scan cost?

The cost of SPECT-CT scanning can vary depending on the area of your body that needs to be scanned or the type of radioisotope needed. This is because imaging larger areas or multiple parts of your body requires several scans to be taken by a highly trained nuclear medicine radiographer. One of our expert consultants will then assess each scan carefully before providing your results.

We’re recognised by all major private medical insurers and also offer a range of self-payment options. We can help guide you through the referral process.

What to expect when having your scan?

It’s important to know what to expect when having your SPECT-CT scan. If you have any other concerns, please speak to your consultant. SPECT-CT scans are painless and help us in planning the best treatment pathway for you. 

Book an appointment

Contact us today to book an appointment for fast access to advanced diagnostics or if you’d like a second opinion.

020 392 75067
020 392 75067

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