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An MIBG scan is a test that helps locate and diagnose certain types of tumors. It can also show when cancer responds to therapy.
The letters MIBG stand for meta-iodobenzylguanidine. It is a molecule that is absorbed by some tumors, particularly neuroblastoma.
The scan can show neuroblastoma inside the body. It also shows when it has spread to the bone and other organs.
The test has 2 parts conducted over 2 days. Patients do not have to be admitted into the hospital for the test.
Here’s how the scan works:
The first day of the test
Your child will receive an injection of a tracer. It includes the MIBG compound combined with a very small amount of a radioactive substance (radioactive iodine).
Neuroblastoma cells should absorb the tracer and show up when scanned the next day.
The second day of the test
Your child will have the scan. It uses a gamma camera that takes pictures of areas that absorbed tracer.
Doctors look for bright spots. The bright spots may indicate cancer.
Every center is different, but these general tips can help you prepare:
On the first day
On the second day
Here are steps to help be sure your child is ready for a MIBG scan:
The results of the scan will be interpreted by a nuclear medicine physician. The doctor will prepare a report and share it with the physician who ordered the test.
Your child’s oncologist will share the results with you.
Together does not endorse any branded product mentioned in this article.
Reviewed: October 2021