Gallium Scan

Your doctor has recommended you for a gallium scan. It is a multiple-day procedure. The role of this procedure is to diagnose, stage and follow-up on malignant tumors including lymphoma, leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, and sarcoma.

A gallium scan is also used to diagnose and to evaluate patients with certain infections such as pneumonia, abscess, osteomyelitis, sarcoidosis and fever of unknown origin.

Our team of specialized doctors, nurses and technologists is led by Louise Thomson, MD and Alessandro D'Agnolo, MD, co-chiefs of Nuclear Medicine.

Why choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for a gallium scan?

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

After Arriving

  • Each day upon arrival, a technologist will explain that day's procedure and answer any questions you may have.

During Your Exam

  • On your first visit, you will receive an intravenous injection (in your vein) of a tracer dose of radioactive material. The level of radioactivity is extremely low and has no side effects. The injection procedure will take about five minutes.
  • If the study is for tumor imaging, you will be scanned two and three days after the injection.
  • If the study is for infection imaging, you will be scanned at one and two days after the injection.
  • The first scan day will take one hour, and the second scan day will take two hours.
  • Depending on the scan results, you may need to return one additional day for a one-hour scan.
  • During your scan, you will be required to lie flat on your back, without moving.
  • Using a special nuclear medicine camera, pictures of your body will be obtained. The camera does not produce any radiation; it simply detects and records the distribution of the radioactive material in your body.

After Your Exam

  • Your study will be reviewed by an imaging physician specialist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.