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Liver » Liver Transplant

Why You Should Not Be Scared about a Liver and Spleen Scan

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Your liver and spleen make up a system. The liver goes through everything that you ingest, separates the nutritions from the toxins, turns the nutrients into energy and sends them into your body, and sends the toxins out.


The spleen filters your blood, removes microbes, and any damaged or dead red blood cells.

When your liver gets damaged, the doctors could ask you to get a liver-spleen scan. Since liver injuries are scary by the term and certain tests to determine the same could be invasive, it is natural to feel a bit off or to fear the process.

What Is a Liver-Spleen Scan?

It’s a nuclear test. Radionuclide (trace amount of a radioactive element) is put inside one of the veins in your arm. It makes its way to the liver and the spleen.

A gamma camera is used to pinpoint the location of the tracers. The device snaps and produces 3D images of the tracer path and accumulation area. This radionuclide collects in some places, lighting them up as bright spots in the pictures.

These bright and dark spots help the doctors in determining the presence of cysts, tumours, abscesses, hematomas, or any other problem with the liver function. The test is mostly painless.

What Could Be the Suspicions behind Ordering a Liver-Spleen Test?

The doctors could order this scan to confirm or deny many conditions like liver cancer, cirrhosis, hepatitis, the degree of damage to either of the organs, degree of advancement of a tumour or another condition.

This test is also used to check the progress of treatment or scan for a reason behind pain in and around the abdomen. 

A Radioactive Test- Is It Dangerous?

The tracer doesn’t stay in your blood for long. It gets passed out via stool or urine in about a day. The amount of radionuclide you receive is tiny and doesn’t have any long-lasting effects.

You could be at risk of developing an allergy to the radioactive tracer. However, it is rare for such a condition to show up, and the doctors will be ready to deal with an allergic patient.

What Can You Do to Prepare for the Scan?

You need to inform your doctor regarding certain conditions before the test commences. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, had anything to do with any test or x-ray that involved barium or bismuth, and are allergic to any medication, latex, or dye, it is better to inform the doctor about it.

Before and after the Liver-Spleen Scan

Before the scan, you will have to remove all jewellery and empty your bladder. You will be lying on your back for about thirty minutes, so calm your nerves before the scan initiates.

Once the test is over, you should drink a lot of water to facilitate the exit of the radioactive tracers from your body. A little swelling or soreness a the site of the IV entry can be dealt with a warm pack. If the pain refuses to leave, you must call the doctor and consult regarding the same.

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  1. Sophy May 03, 2017 03:06 pm

    Great information regarding liver related problems .. Good work zealth

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