HMPAO Leukocyte (WBC) Scan

A HMPAO leukocyte scan is often used to locate an infection in your body. You should schedule five to seven hours for this exam.


When you arrive for your appointment, the nuclear medicine technologist will withdraw some blood from one of your veins, usually from your arm. Your blood will then be sent to the radio pharmacy where the white blood cells will be separated from the rest of the cells. White blood cells are used because they attack infections in the body. Your white blood cells will be "labeled" with a radioactive tracer. This labeling process takes about two hours. You will be allowed to leave and you will be given a time to return to the nuclear medicine area. When you return your labeled white blood cells will be injected back into your arm. You then will be allowed to leave the nuclear medicine area and asked to return several hours later. When you return painless images will be taken of your body to see where the white blood cells accumulated. This entire process may take five to seven hours.


  • You may eat and drink as usual.
  • You may continue taking your medications as directed by your physician.
  • If you have x-ray, CT scan or MRI films or reports from test not performed at Beaumont, please bring them with you to your appointment.
  • Remember to bring the written order (prescription), for this test, given to you by your doctor.


  • Patients of childbearing age should review the pregnancy and breastfeeding guidelines.

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