Imaging Tests for Lung Carcinoid Tumor

In imaging tests x-rays, radioactive particles, or other means are used by which picture of inner body is created. This test is performed for examining the suspected area of lung might be tumor; how much tumor is spread or to determine is treatment has been effective. There are many ways to take imaging test, these are as follow:

  • Chest x-ray:

This is a first type of imaging test doctor says to do, while they are suspicious that there is a problem in lung after hearing your symptoms and breathing test. It will show you any amount of tumor, but some time tumor is covered by some other organ and that can’t be shown by this test. For that reason other test are suggested.

  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan:

This CT scan – also called CAT scan, mostly shows small tumor. It also provide precious information about tumor size, shape, and position; also can help in finding enlarged lymph nodes that might contain tumor that has spread from the lung. It is better than x-ray as it show things in very detail and in deep.  Using x-ray it produce very clear picture of lungs and tell very small tumor too.

CT scan also takes in between your treatment to know that how much it effecting.

  • Radionuclide Scans:

This test is performed by using small amounts of radioactivity and special cameras to found tumor. This type of scan only done by doctor when they don’t know that tumor is in which part of body or you can say to know the exact position of tumor. Radionuclide scans are of 3 types:

I. Somatostatin Receptor Scintigraphy:

SRS is a very common scan and also called OctreoScan. It uses a drug called octreotide bound to radioactive indium-111. Octreotide is a hormone-like substance that attaches to carcinoid cells. For a test firstly a small amount of Octreotide is injected into a body, and then it starts traveling into body through blood veins and finally attracted to carcinoid tumors. A few hours or sometime few days after the injection, a special camera can be used to show where the radioactivity has collected in the body.

II. I-131 MIBG scan:

This is a very rare kind of test for tumor. In this tumor chemical called MIBG attached to radioactive iodine (I-131) is injected into patient’s body and after several hours or days later body is scanned by a special camera to look up the area that has infected by tumor. This test is mainly for carcinoid tumor but other neuroendocrine tumors also found by this test.

III. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan:

This is a very special kind of scan and not found in every hospital. For carcinoid tumor this PET scanning is performed by using radioactive form of 5-hydroxytryptophan, a chemical that is taken up and used by carcinoid cells and then a special camera can detect the radioactive substance which is attracted to carcinoid tumor. The usefulness of this test is still being studied for carcinoid tumor.

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