Bone Scans

A Sodium Fluoride (NaF-18) Bone Scan is much more sensitive and specific than a traditional Tc-99m Bone Scan. At OCMRI, we utilize the latest innovative technologies and methodologies to produce highly sensitive and specific bone scan exams.

Fluorine-18 ion has been used as a skeletal imaging agent for many years. It has a high lesion to normal bone ratio and is rapidly cleared from soft tissues and blood giving a high bone to background ratio. Sodium Fluoride (NaF) Bone Scan is used to increase the likelihood of detecting subtle abnormalities which are missed on the Tc-99m bone scan. A whole body scan is used as a screen for metastatic disease.

Preparation for the Exam

There is no advanced preparation needed for your Sodium Fluoride (NaF) bone scan. You may follow your normal diet and take any scheduled medications. Wear something comfortable with no metal (no zippers, etc.).

If you have had previous diagnostic studies (Bone scan, X-ray) of the body part being evaluated, please bring those films and reports, or request they be sent to the center. These studies or reports are very helpful to the radiologist interpreting your Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET Bone Scan.

Tell your doctor or the technologist: If you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Exam Time

It is a two part exam. After you are injected with the isotope, you will be asked to return after 90 minutes. After that the scan lasts approximately 45-60 minutes.

During the Test

When you arrive at OCMRI, you will be asked about your medical history. You will then be given an injection of a radioactive tracer. If you think you might be pregnant, please inform the technologist before you are given any injection. The technologist will ask you to return to OCMRI approximately 1 1/2 hours later. This time is needed for the tracer to localize into your bones. When you return, you will be asked to empty your bladder. This is done so that the pelvic and hip bones will show up clearly. You will be asked to lie down on a table to be scanned and images of your skeleton will be taken.

After the Test

You may resume your normal activities and diet. The injection you were given is not harmful and will become non-radioactive within hours.


A radiologist will review your bone scan and results will be sent to the ordering physician within 24 hours. Your physician can then explain to you what the findings mean.