Labeled white cell scans are useful in detecting infection in bone, joints and soft tissue. Blood is obtained from the patient via venipuncture. This blood is separated, and the white blood cells are mixed with the isotope of choice, and returned to the patient. Scintigraphy or bone scan is then performed in two phases. The first phase scan is performed soon after the labeling procedure. A second scan is performed 4 to 6 hours later.
This type of scan is very effective for detecting infections in the limbs (Tc99), and the spine (gallium67).