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99mTc bone scintigraphy superscans: a review

Buckley, Orlaa; O'Keeffe, Sylviaa; Geoghegan, Tonya; Lyburn, Ian D.b; Munk, Peter L.c; Worsley, Danc; Torreggiani, William C.a

Nuclear Medicine Communications: July 2007 - Volume 28 - Issue 7 - p 521-527
doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e3281744440

Whole-body bone scintigraphy (bone scan) using a 99mTc-labelled pharmaceutical is one of the most commonly performed radionuclide examinations. In the normal patient, both the osseous components of the skeletal system as well as the kidneys and bladder are visualized. A superscan is defined as a bone scan which demonstrates markedly increased skeletal radioisotope uptake relative to soft tissues, in association with absent or faint genito-urinary tract activity. While a superscan is relatively uncommon, its recognition is important, as it is associated with a number of important underlying diseases. The purpose of this review article is to describe the causes and variable features of a superscan and depict patterns which may aid in defining the underlying cause for the scan. In addition, we will discuss other investigations that may help further to identify the underlying disease in such cases.

aAMNCH, Dublin, Ireland

bCheltenham Hospital, UK

cVancouver Hospital, Canada

Correspondence to Dr Orla Buckley, AMNCH, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland

Tel: +353 141 43700; fax: +353 1 141 4143805;


Received 31 August 2006 Revised 14 February 2007 Accepted 14 February 2007

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.