Nuclear Medicine: In Vitro Scans
In Vitro studies are a group of procedures involving radiopharmaceuticals but no gamma camera imaging. Total Blood Volume and Urea Breath Test are the two studies that fall into this category.
Total Blood Volume studies (sometimes referred to as RBC Mass) measure the red blood cell and plasma volume in your body and can be useful in diagnosing polycythemia. This condition involves an increase in the proportion of red blood cells in total blood volume. It can be due to an increase in the mass of red blood cells ("absolute polycythemia") or to a decrease in the volume of plasma ("relative polycythemia"). Polycythemia causes the blood to thicken so it is important to treat it appropriately to prevent bleeding and clotting.
Urea Breath Tests are performed to detect the presence of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that has been shown to be the cause of the majority of stomach ulcers.