Paget’s disease is a chronic condition which interferes with your body’s normal bone remodeling process.
Bone remodeling is a process in which new bone tissue gradually replaces old bone tissue. This relationship is vital to maintain normal calcium levels in our blood. Over time, the disease can cause affected bones to become fragile and misshapen. Paget’s disease of bone most commonly occurs in the pelvis, skull, spine and legs.
The risk of Paget’s disease of bone increases with age. Your risk also increases if any family members have the disorder. Complications of Paget’s disease of bone can include broken bones, hearing loss and pinched nerves in the spine.
Imaging technique: a bone scan
A physician may recommend a nuclear medicine bone scan to either confirm or rule out Paget’s disease of bone. This scan shows the effects of injury, disease or infection on the bones, and also shows whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment.
A radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) is injected into a vein, attaches to the bones and is detected by a special camera (gamma camera) that takes images or pictures that show how the bones are working.
Bone scans image both the structure and the active cell growth of the bones, so are often used in conjunction with other imaging such as x-rays, Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). A bone scan is known as functional imaging. It is a scan that detects how the body may or may not be working, or how it is “functioning” – very important in the evaluation of Paget’s disease of bone.
Nuclear medicine bone scans are performed at our Metairie – Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Covington – Highway 21 locations. Click here for more information on nuclear medicine imaging tests performed by DIS.