Scintigraphy Information


Dr. Karen Tobias

9 July 2007


 Many radiologists perform their scintigraphies by giving the radioactive material via enema.  Because a large amount of the radioactivity is not absorbed (it stays in the colon), the scintigraphy is not very clear and will just give us the information "shunt" or "no shunt".
It doesn't tell us whether the "shunt" is one single one or multiple acquired ones.  Because of our clinical study here, we and some other radiologists now give the radioactive material as an injection into the spleen.  With that technique we use only 10% of what is used for the enema technique, and we end up with a "picture" of the shunt.  Most of the time (but not all of the time), we can tell if it is one shunt, two shunts, or multiple acquired shunts, and we can tell the general location so that it is easier to find the shunt.  With all their experience, our radiologists are usually right about congenital vs. acquired.  I put photos of the two scans below.

Some dogs will develop one or two big acquired shunts as well as the many threadlike acquired shunts that are usually seen.  These dogs may look more like congenital shunts.  Now that we have been using the splenic injection technique for at least 4 years (and with 2 award winning papers and several other scientific publications, we are the leaders in this area), we are more experienced at determining which look like multiple acquired shunts.

Rectal Scan




Splenic injection scan below  with one big straight congenital shunt




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