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Liver Spleen Study - Colloid


  • You have been referred for a Liver Spleen Colloid Study in which imaging of your Liver and Spleen is done.

  • A Liver Spleen Colloid Study is useful in diagnosing various conditions, such as tumors, abscesses, hematomas, organ enlargement, or cysts.

  • It may also be used to assess organ function and blood circulation.

  • Other related procedures may also be used to diagnose problems of the liver such as: abdominal X-rays, abdominal ultrasound, abdominal CT, MRI or a liver biopsy.

  • The test involves a small injection of  “tracer” (like having a blood test) then waiting for 20 minutes before having images.

  • The tracer we use is called 99mTc-Calcium Phytate (Colloid). There are rarely any side effects with this injection.

  • You simply lie on a bed whilst images are done of your abdomen in different angles using a Gamma Camera (1). This takes 15-20 minutes.

  • Imaging your Liver/Spleen in 3D is done 'after' the first set of images. This is called SPECT/CT (2) imaging.

  • With SPECT/CT imaging, the same Gamma Camera simply rotates around your body, taking images all the time. This takes 15 minutes.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a Liver Spleen Study with SPECT/CT ~ up to 1.6 times your yearly background radiation (3).


Patient Preparation:

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • There is no preparation for a Liver Spleen Colloid Study i.e. eat and drink as normal.

  • If you are on any medications, please take these as normal.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you need to stop breast-feeding for 8-hours. During this time, you need to express and discard your breast milk as often as required. You will need to bottle-feed your child during this period.


(1) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(2) SPECT/CT imaging (Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography / Computer Tomography). CT does emit radiation

(3) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. Liver Spleen Colloid Study with SPECT/CT ~ 3.9mSv = 1.6 times yearly background dose.

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