White blood cell scan

This test can determine where and how bad inflammationThe body’s response to injury. is in the gastrointestinal tractThe gut, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus.. It can also be used to identify complications such as abscesses.

There is no preparation needed before the test and you may eat and drink normally. It is usually performed at a hospital and you can do it as an outpatient.

The test is done in two phases:

  • Phase 1: White bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. cells are separated from a sample of your bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. and mixed with a very small amount of a radioactive material, called a radioisotope. These radio-labelled cells are then re-injected into your bloodstream.
  • Phase 2: In the second part of the test, which is performed a few hours later, your abdomenThe part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs. is scanned to trace the whereabouts of white bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. cells. The scanner detects the small amounts of radiation given off by the radio-labelled cells and shows these as images on screen or film.

Because white bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. cells tend to accumulate in areas of infectionInvasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites. or inflammationThe body’s response to injury., the location of the radiation reveals the areas of inflammationThe body’s response to injury. in your gastrointestinal tractThe gut, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus..

The test is painless. There is a slight exposure to radiation, but the materials become inactive very quickly. This test is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.