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Abscess scan

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Abscess scan

(Science: investigation) this is a nuclear scan that utilises radioactively tagged white blood cells.

The patients white blood cells (taken from a small tube of blood) are tagged with radioactive indium. Later, the cells are then reinjected into the bloodstream. The coarse of the white blood cells can then be mapped using a gamma camera (radiation detecting device). The net result is a picture that shows the location of the radioactive white blood cells.

The location of the white cells can indicated the presence of infection or inflammation. This test is useful in detecting a hidden source of bacterial infection, such as an abscess.