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Technetium tc-99m pyrophosphate, diagnostic, per study dose, up to 25 millicuries

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Common Name(s): Bone Scan, Cardiac Scan

Technical Term: Technetium Tc-99m Pyrophosphate Diagnostic Imaging


A technetium Tc-99m pyrophosphate scan is a medical imaging procedure that uses a small amount of radioactive material to diagnose various conditions, especially related to bones and heart tissue. During the procedure, the material highlights areas of abnormal activity in the body, allowing for detailed imaging.


Medical Conditions
  • Detecting bone diseases or fractures
  • Diagnosing bone infections
  • Evaluating cardiac conditions such as heart attacks or damaged tissue
  • Accurate diagnosis of the aforementioned conditions
  • Guidance for further medical treatment or interventions


Specific Symptoms/Conditions
  • Unexplained bone pain
  • Suspected fractures not visible on X-rays
  • Signs of bone infection or cancer
  • Symptoms of a heart attack or suspected cardiac damage
Patient Criteria
  • Referred by a healthcare provider based on symptoms or preliminary test results
  • Adequate renal function to process and excrete the radionuclide


Pre-procedure Instructions
  • Maintain hydration by drinking plenty of water
  • Inform the physician if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any allergies
  • No fasting typically required unless specified by your doctor
  • Temporary cessation of certain medications may be advised
Required Assessments
  • Blood tests to ensure kidney function
  • Preliminary imaging studies such as X-rays or EKG if cardiac issues are involved

Procedure Description

  1. Injection: The patient receives an intravenous injection of technetium Tc-99m pyrophosphate.
  2. Waiting Period: The radioactive material takes approximately 2-3 hours to circulate and localize in the areas of concern.
  3. Imaging: The patient lies still on a scanning table while a gamma camera captures detailed images of the body.
  4. After the scan is complete, the images are reviewed by a specialist.
  • Gamma camera
  • Intravenous injection materials
  • Radiopharmaceutical (Technetium Tc-99m Pyrophosphate)
Anesthesia or Sedation
  • None required


  • Total time including preparation, waiting period, and imaging: About 3-4 hours


  • Typically performed in a hospital radiology department or a specialized outpatient imaging center


  • Radiologist
  • Nuclear medicine technologist
  • Nursing staff for patient preparation

Risks and Complications

Common Risks
  • Mild allergic reaction to the radiopharmaceutical
  • Temporary discomfort at the injection site
Rare Risks
  • Radiation exposure (minimal and generally safe)
  • Infection at the injection site
Complications Management
  • Immediate medical attention for severe allergic reactions
  • Symptomatic treatment for mild reactions


  • Accurate detection and diagnosis of various bone and cardiac conditions
  • Non-invasive with minimal discomfort
  • Quick visual results aiding timely treatment


Post-procedure Care
  • Resume normal activities immediately
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush the radioactive material from your body
Recovery Time
  • Generally minimal; most patients return to their regular routine right away
  • Follow-up appointments may be scheduled to discuss scan results and subsequent treatment options


Other Options
  • MRI: Offers detailed images without radiation exposure
  • CT Scan: Provides high-resolution images but involves more radiation
  • Standard X-rays: Good for initial assessment but less detailed
Pros and Cons
  • MRI: No radiation but more expensive and longer duration
  • CT Scan: Quick and detailed but higher radiation dose
  • X-rays: Quick and accessible but less detailed

Patient Experience

During the Procedure
  • Slight discomfort from the IV injection
  • Need to lie still during imaging, which may be mildly uncomfortable
After the Procedure
  • No significant discomfort
  • Minimal side effects, typically no pain
Pain Management
  • None needed; the procedure is generally painless except for the IV injection
Comfort Measures
  • Staff will ensure the patient's comfort, including blankets or cushions if needed during imaging

Feel free to ask your healthcare provider if you have any specific concerns or need more information about the technetium Tc-99m pyrophosphate scan.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Technetium tc-99m pyrophosphate, diagnostic, per study dose, up to 25 millicuries

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