St Vincent's Clinic Medical Imaging & Nuclear Medicine

Labelled WBC (White Blood Cell) Scan

A Labelled WBC scan is used to localise and evaluate areas of inflammation or infection in your body.

What will happen when you have your Labelled WBC Scan

There are 4 parts to a Labelled WBC scan:

  1. The procedure will begin at 8am with a blood sample taken from one of your   veins, this should take approximately 10-20minutes. The sample needs to have the white blood cells extracted and labelled with a special‘tracer’ that allows us to see areas of inflammation or infection that may be in your body, this can labelling procedure may take several hours. You are not required to be in the department during this time, the Nuclear Medicine Technologists will contact you when this procedure is completed and you will need to return to the department for part 2.
  1. Theblood sample taken that now contains the tracer will then be re-injected back into a vein in your arm, this will take 10minutes.
  2. A scan will be taken 1 hour after the blood sample has been re-injected,this scan will take 30minutes.
  1. A further scan is taken at 3 hours after the blood sample has been re-injected, this scan will take 40 minutes.

What you need to do and how to prepare for the test

You will not be required to undress for the scan. The scan is performed with the Gamma Camera close to your body but you do not go through a ‘tunnel’.

  • You will need a referral from your doctor
  • You will need an appointment for this test
  • Please inform booking staff if you are or think you could be pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • The procedure will take several hours from 800am to 500pm
  • Please brings any previous relevant x-rays or scans to your appointment
  • You can eat and drink as normal before, during and after the test
  • You may require a Nuclear Medicine bone scan to be performed 48hours prior to this test, this will be discussed with you prior to your appointment.
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