A testicular scan uses a special camera to take
pictures of the
testicles after a
radioactive tracer builds up in testicular tissues
(nuclear medicine test). The results of the
scan are usually available within 2 days. In an emergency, results can be
ready within 1 hour.
The radioactive tracer flows evenly through
the testicles. The tracer does not build up in any area of the
The tracer does not flow evenly through the
testicles. This may be a sign of narrowing, blockage, or damage in the blood vessels
in the testicles. This could mean that blood flow has been reduced by a
twisted cord inside the testicle. This is called
Areas where the tracer builds up in an
abnormal amount could be a sign of a condition such as a
cyst, a tumor, a pocket of infection (abscess), a blood clot, or swelling of the tubes
(ducts) that carry sperm (epididymis). This swelling is called
What Affects the Test
The results of the
scan may not be accurate if you can't stay still during the test.
What To Think About
ultrasound has largely replaced testicular scans to
look for testicular torsion or tumors in the
testicles. To learn more, see the topic Testicular Ultrasound.
Abnormal results from a testicular scan may be checked further by other tests. These include a testicular
biopsy, an ultrasound test, and
If the scan is done
for a young boy, a parent can be with him.
Other Works Consulted
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology