Risks

For most people, SPECT scans are safe. If you receive an injection or infusion of radioactive tracer, you may experience:

  • Bleeding, pain or swelling where the needle was inserted in your arm
  • Rarely, an allergic reaction to the radioactive tracer

SPECT scans aren't safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding because the radioactive tracer may be passed to the developing fetus or the nursing baby.

Risks of radiation

Your health care team uses a small amount of radiation in order to perform a SPECT scan, and the test is not associated with any long-term health risks. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your exposure to radiation during a SPECT scan.