Dr MJ (Ria) Bester


Infection Imaging

(Gallium 67 scans; WBC labelled scans)


What is a Gallium scan?

A Gallium scan may be conducted in cases where a chronic infection or fever of unknown origin is suspected.

Why is it performed?

A Gallium scan may be conducted in cases where a chronic infection or fever of unknown origin is suspected.

How does it work?

The gallium tracer is injected into the body so that it can distribute through the bloodstream and be absorbed into the organs and bones. When the body is scanned, your doctor will be able to see where the material has collected, as the scanner will pick up the radioactive tracer. Imaging is performed at 6h, 24h, 48h and sometimes even at 72 or 96h. Scanning time is normally 1 - 1,5h.

Infection imaging: normal Gallium scan

Click image to view


What is a WBC (White Blood Cell) labelled scan?

A labelled WBC scan involves locating infection and abscesses in soft tissue and bone.

Why is it performed?

A WBC scan is most often done when your doctor suspects a hidden infection. It is particularly useful for suspected infection within the abdomen.

How does it work?

To start the process of a labelled white cell scan, a blood sample will be collected from one of your veins. The white blood cells will be extracted and labelled with a radioactive tracer. The white blood cells, which contain the radioactive tracer, will then be injected back into your body. After about half an hour, once the body has absorbed the radioactive tracer, a scan will be taken and images will be recorded. After another three hours, further imaging will be performed. In some cases imaging at 24h is also necessary. The images will provide your doctor with the necessary information to detect and evaluate any infections or abscesses in the abdomen, which is helpful in finding the best treatment plan for your needs.

Infection imaging: Labelled WBC scan

Click image to view


Dr Ria Bester is a nuclear medicine specialist based in Bellville, Cape Town. Dedicated to the practice of nuclear medicine and its benefits, Dr Bester and her team are able to provide patients with a wide range of services.
These include skeletal scans, infection imaging, thyroid scans, gastric emptying, "milk scans" to evaluate gastro-oesophageal reflux in children, hepato-biliary scans, blood volume studies, renograms and renal scans, as well as lung, cardiac and sentinel node scans in patients with breast carcinoma and melanoma.


021-945 3420 / 021-945 3421

021 595-1201 / 021 595-1202

Email: ria@riabester.co.za
Accounts: accounts@riabester.co.za