A testicular scan uses a camera to take
pictures of the
testicles after a
radioactive tracer accumulates in testicular tissues
(nuclear medicine test).
testicular scan, the tracer substance is injected into a vein in the arm. It
travels through the bloodstream to the
testicles . Areas of the testicles where the tracer
accumulates in abnormal amounts may indicate some types of tumors. The tracer
may also indicate a pocket of fluid (cyst) or
A testicular scan may be done
in an emergency to evaluate the cause of sudden, painful swelling of a
testicle, which can be caused by a twisted spermatic cord inside the testicle.
This condition is called
testicular torsion and needs immediate medical
evaluation and treatment.
ultrasound has largely replaced testicular scans to
investigate possible testicular tumors and testicular torsion.
Why It Is Done
A testicular scan is done to:
- Determine the cause of a painful, swollen
- Assess the damage to the testicles caused by an
- Assess the flow of blood within the testicles.
How To Prepare
No special preparation is needed for a
You may be asked to sign a consent form before
the test. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need
for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A testicular scan is usually done by a
nuclear medicine technologist. The scan pictures are usually interpreted by a
nuclear medicine specialist.
need to remove any jewelry that might interfere with the scan. You may need to
take off all or most of your clothes, but you will be given a cloth or paper
covering to use during the test.
The technologist cleans the site
on your arm where the radioactive tracer will be injected. A small amount of
the radioactive tracer is then injected.
You will lie on your
back on a table and your penis will be taped to your abdomen to prevent it from
interfering with the scan. A sling or towel may be used to support the
testicles under the scanner. After the radioactive tracer is injected, the
camera will scan for radiation released by the tracer and produce pictures of
the tracer in your testicles. Two scans are done about 15 minutes apart. You
need to lie very still during each scan to avoid blurring the pictures. The
camera does not produce any radiation, so you are not exposed to any more
radiation while the scan is being done.
A testicular scan takes
about 45 minutes.