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Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan

The parathyroids are four small glands lying close to the surface of the thyroid gland in the front of your neck.

This test is used to look for enlarged or abnormally functioning parathyroid glands. It can assist the doctor to locate the abnormal gland. It is usually used in patients with elevated calcium levels due to a disorder called primary hyperparathyroidism.

You will receive an injection of a radiopharmaceutical into a vein in your arm and imaging of your neck will commence between 5-10 minutes afterwards, which will take 30 minutes. You are then required to return to the department 2-3 hours later for further imaging.

Preparation: Nil
Test Duration:

  • Initial Images: 45 minutes
  • Delay Images: 30 minutes

Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • Localise parathyroid adenomas or parathyroid hyperplasia
  • Localisation of hyperfunctioning parathyroid tissue in patients with persistent or recurrent disease
  • Elevated parathyroid hormone
  • Hypercalcemia

The arrow points to a parathyroid adenoma. We also use a ‘pinhole’ camera which is far more accurate in locating an adenoma. Our latest SPECT/CT adds to the accuracy of this scan for adenoma localisation.

Click on images to enlarge.