Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Scintigraphy: hepatic function

Contributor(s): Fraser J McConnell

Introduction

  • Use of radionucleotide allows some assessment of function and structure of organ.
  • Technetium is injected into blood and taken up by hepatocytes before being excreted into bile.
  • Used commonly in human medicine.
  • Radionucleotide is transported to liver bound to albumin, but the albumin-radionucleotide complexes dissociate in the liver.
  • Hepatocytes take up radionucleotide via a carrier-mediated non-sodium dependent transport mechanism similar to that for bilirubin.
  • The radionucleotide is secreted into the bile and transported through the biliary tract to the small intestine.

Uses

  • Assessment of reticuloendothelial system function.
  • Assessment of biliary tract patency and biliary kinetics.
  • Evaluation of liver and spleen size and shape.
  • Looking for hepatic neoplasia/metastasis.

Advantages

  • Non-invasive.
  • Gives information about hepatic function.

Disadvantages

  • Cost.
  • Limited availability.
  • Radiation hazard (minimal).
  • Requires patient to be isolated for a period after injection of radionucleotide.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Newell S M, Graham J P, Roberts G D et al (2001) Quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy in normal cats and cats with experimental cholangiohepatitis. Vet Rad Ultra 42 (1), 70-76 PubMed.


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