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A MIBG scan is commonly used for detection of neuroendocrine tumours such as neuroblastoma and phaeochromocytoma. It can also aid detection of carcinoid and medullary thyroid carcinoma. Results of serum and urinary catecholamines may be necessary prior to approval of the scan by the nuclear medicine department. This scan should not be performed on a pregnant patient and, if clinically suspected, a negative pregnancy test in a woman of child bearing age may be needed.
This study may not be suitable for pregnant women. The benefit versus risk should be discussed with the nuclear medicine specialist.
Women who are breastfeeding and people who are the primary or sole carer for small children may need to make special preparations after the test to stop breastfeeding for a short time and to avoid close contact with young children due to the small amount of radioactivity released for a while after the test.
Patients should discuss this with their referring doctor or the nuclear medicine practice where they will have the test for details. See nuclear medicine for further information about the precautions to take with nuclear medicine studies for breastfeeding patients and those in close contact with children.
There are no relative contraindications.
There is a relatively small risk of transient increase in blood pressure at the time of the initial injection. The patient is generally monitored in the nuclear medicine department for this over the initial 30 minutes.
MIBG Scan is the test of choice for detection of a phaeochromocytoma and neuroblastoma. The poorly differentiated tumours can be MIBG negative and these are better detected with PET scans, which generally perform better in detection of more aggressive neuroendocrine tumours. The PET scans can yield false negative results in well differentiated, slow growing tumours.
Generally MIBG imaging is superior to PET imaging for neuroblastoma. However, PET is beneficial in tumours that fail to concentrate MIBG or are weakly MIBG positive.
Some neuroendocrine tumours such as the paragangliomas can be MIBG negative but may be detected with indium 111-pentetreotide (octreotide scan).
Anatomic imaging with CT and MRI is often complimentary as it is sensitive but not specific.
Page last modified on 26/7/2017.
RANZCR® is not aware that any person intends to act or rely upon the opinions, advices or information contained in this publication or of the manner in which it might be possible to do so. It issues no invitation to any person to act or rely upon such opinions, advices or information or any of them and it accepts no responsibility for any of them.
RANZCR® intends by this statement to exclude liability for any such opinions, advices or information. The content of this publication is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. It is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient and his/her doctor. Some of the tests and procedures included in this publication may not be available at all radiology providers.
RANZCR® recommends that any specific questions regarding any procedure be discussed with a person's family doctor or medical specialist. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, RANZCR®, its Board, officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use, or interpretation. Each person should rely on their own inquires before making decisions that touch their own interests.