The accumulation of radionuclides in bone is related to the rate of bone metabolism. The localization of the various bone imaging agents is due to exchange with ions in the bone called Heterionic exchange. The bone agents can localize in soft tissue areas demonstrating calcification in infarction (seen most in the heart area), inflamation, trauma and tumors.


  • Detection of bone metastases.
  • Skeletal pain of questionable etiology.
  • Evaluation of elevated alkaline phosphates or other bone enzymes.
  • Evaluation of primary benign and malignant bone lesions.
  • Bone viability.
  • Evaluation of the response of Paget's disease to treatment.

Study Description

A radiopharmaceutical is injected intravenously and allowed to circulate 3 hours before imaging is started. This time is required for the tracer to accumulate in the osseous tissue. Images are then obtained of the entire skeleton from anterior and posterior projections. Additional oblique views may be acquired if indicated by patient history or complaints. Image acquisition requires approximately 1 hour. The patient will need to remain still during acquisition of each image but will be allowed movement between images as needed for comfort.

Examination Time

  • Initially, 15 minutes for injection of the radiopharmaceutical.
  • 3 hours later, 1 hour for image acquisition.

Patient Preparation

  • Ensure the patient is not pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Well hydrated prior to exam.