MIBG Scan (Meta-iodobenzylguanidine Scan)

MIBG (meta-iodobenzylguanidine) scans help locate and diagnose certain types of tumors in the body. MIBG is a substance that gathers in some tumors, particularly neuroblastoma tumors. When MIBG is combined with radioactive iodine (tracer), it provides a way to identify primary and metastatic (spread) disease. MIBG scans are helpful for locating both bone and soft tissue tumors.

The test is performed by injecting a small amount of radioactive dye (tracer) through an IV. Pictures are then taken under a scanner that is similar to a CT scan. The scans may occur 24, 48, or 72 hours after the tracer is given. Doctors are looking for bright spots on the scan, these indicate cancer cells.

An MIBG scan does not hurt, but it may be difficult or uncomfortable for a child to lie still for the test. Young children may be given a sedative to help them lie still for the entire test. A special medicine is given to protect the thyroid gland from the radioactive substance in the tracer.

© The Children's Oncology Group
The information and content provided on this website is made available for informational purposes only for children and their families affected by cancer. While the Children's Oncology Group strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the information may be out of date or incomplete in certain respects. Please do not rely on this information and seek the care of a qualified medical professional if you have questions regarding a specific medical condition, disease, diagnosis or symptom. The information and content presented herein is not intended to replace the independent clinical judgement, medical advice, screening, health counseling, or other intervention performed by your (or your child's) health care provider. Please contact "911" or your emergency services if this is a health emergency. No endorsement of any specific tests, products, or procedures is made herein.