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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I order DaTscan?
To place an order, please call GE Healthcare Customer Service at 800 292 8514 or click here to Contact Us.
How does my facility become an imaging center?
If you are interested in becoming an imaging center, please call
GE Healthcare Medical Affairs at 800 654 0118 (option 2, then
option 3)
for more information.
How long does brain single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging with DaTscan take?
The entire testing process takes several hours. First, a thyroid-blocking agent is administered at least one hour before injection of DaTscan. After the injection of DaTscan, the patient must wait three to six hours before imaging begins. Imaging will last approximately 30 minutes.
Can DaTscan distinguish between parkinsonian syndromes?
No. DaTscan may be used only to help distinguish between parkinsonian syndromes and essential tremor. The differentiation between normal and abnormal images is assessed by the extent and intensity of the striatal signal following administration of DaTscan. The images cannot be used to distinguish between individual parkinsonian syndromes.
Can DaTscan be used to detect anything else besides a parkinsonian syndrome?
No. DaTscan should be used only to assist in the evaluation of adult patients with a suspected parkinsonian syndrome. It should not be used to monitor disease progression or to differentiate between striatal dopamine neurodegenerative disorders. It is also not indicated to assist in the evaluation of any other neurological disorders.
Is there an age range for DaTscan?
DaTscan should be used only in adult patients. Otherwise, there are no age restrictions or ranges regarding the use of DaTscan.
Who should not receive DaTscan?
Patients with a known allergy or sensitivity to iodine or to DaTscan should not receive DaTscan. In addition, children should not receive DaTscan. Patients who are pregnant or nursing, or those with reduced kidney or liver function, should consult their doctor before receiving DaTscan, as this test may not be right for them.
Why do I need a special headrest for SPECT imaging with DaTscan?
Headrests are required for SPECT imaging with DaTscan because even a slight head tilt during imaging can compromise the final image. Final images that have been compromised by patient motion or head tilt cannot be corrected and must be repeated. Using a headrest helps enable consistent positioning of the patient and minimizes the camera’s radius of rotation. If a headrest is not available, SPECT imaging with DaTscan should not be performed. Additional forehead or chin restraints are recommended to prevent patient movement.
How do I set up my camera for DaTscan?
Please visit our camera-specific parameters Web page to review camera settings for optimal DaTscan image quality. Each SPECT camera requires its own specific setup parameters for acquiring a high-quality DaTscan image. Contact GE Healthcare Medical Affairs at 800 654 0118 (option 2, then option 3) for more information. Please note that you should always image with DaTscan using the same camera parameters.
How do I dispose of DaTscan?
DaTscan should be disposed of in accordance with your facility’s radioactive materials license requirements.
How do I store DaTscan?
DaTscan must be stored in its original lead container (or an equivalent radiation shielding) at 68°F-77°F (20°C-25°C).1
What should I do if I cannot interpret a DaTscan image?
If you cannot interpret a DaTscan image, first check the acquired image for motion artifacts immediately after the study, before the patient leaves. If artifacts are noted, repeat image acquisition no later than six hours postinjection. In addition, a lateral head tilt, improper camera radius, overprocessing, or drug interaction may result in an image that is difficult to interpret. Drugs that bind to the dopamine transporter with high affinity may interfere with the DaTscan image. The impact of dopamine agonists and antagonists on DaTscan imaging results has not been established. For more information, you can also contact GE Healthcare Medical Affairs at 800 654 0118 (option 2, then option 3). 
Is DaTscan reimbursed?
Yes. However, reimbursement decisions are made by the individual payers. For proper reimbursement, you will need to provide the appropriate HCPCS and CPT® codes. Please review our state-by-state Reimbursement Guide for more information or call the
GE Healthcare Reimbursement Hotline at 800 767 6664.

PRODUCT INDICATIONS AND USE: DaTscan (Ioflupane I 123 Injection) is a radiopharmaceutical indicated for striatal dopamine transporter visualization using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain imaging to assist in the evaluation of adult patients with suspected parkinsonian syndromes (PSs). DaTscan may be used to help differentiate essential tremor from tremor due to PS (idiopathic Parkinson’s disease [PD], multiple system atrophy [MSA], and progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP]). DaTscan is an adjunct to other diagnostic evaluations. DaTscan was not designed to distinguish among PD, MSA, and PSP. The effectiveness of DaTscan as a screening or confirmatory test and for monitoring disease progression or response to therapy has not been established.

Important Risk and Safety Information About DaTscan

CONTRAINDICATIONS: DaTscan is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the active substance, any of the excipients, or iodine. WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS — Hypersensitivity Reactions: Hypersensitivity reactions, generally consisting of skin erythema and pruritus, have been reported following DaTscan administration. Thyroid Accumulation: The DaTscan injection may contain up to 6% of free iodide (iodine 123 or I-123). To decrease thyroid accumulation of I-123, block the thyroid gland at least one hour before administration of DaTscan; failure to do so may increase the long-term risk for thyroid neoplasia. ADVERSE REACTIONS: In clinical trials, headache, nausea, vertigo, dry mouth, or dizziness of mild to moderate severity were reported. In postmarketing experience, hypersensitivity reactions and injection-site pain have been reported. DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drugs that bind to the dopamine transporter with high affinity may interfere with the DaTscan image. The impact of dopamine agonists and antagonists on DaTscan imaging results has not been established. SPECIFIC POPULATIONS — Pregnancy: It is unknown whether DaTscan can cause fetal harm or increase the risk of pregnancy loss in pregnant women. DaTscan should be given to pregnant women only if clearly needed. Like all radiopharmaceuticals, DaTscan may cause fetal harm, depending on the stage of fetal development and the magnitude of the radionuclide dose. Radioactive iodine products cross the placenta and can permanently impair fetal thyroid function. Nursing Mothers: It is not known whether DaTscan is excreted into human milk; however, I-123 is excreted into human milk. Because many drugs are excreted into human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to interrupt nursing after administration of DaTscan or not to administer DaTscan at all. Nursing women may consider interrupting nursing and pumping and discarding breast milk for six days after DaTscan administration to minimize risks to a nursing infant. Pediatric Use: The safety and efficacy of DaTscan have not been established in pediatric patients. Geriatric Use: There were no differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients that would require a dose adjustment. Renal and Hepatic Impairment: The effect of renal or hepatic impairment on DaTscan imaging has not been established. The kidney excretes DaTscan; patients with severe renal impairment may have increased radiation exposure and altered DaTscan images. OVERDOSAGE: It is unknown whether or not ioflupane is dialyzable. The major risks of overdose relate to increased radiation exposure and long-term risk for neoplasia. In case of radioactivity overdosage, frequent urination and defecation should be encouraged to minimize radiation exposure to the patient. PROCEDURE — Radiation Safety: DaTscan emits radiation and must be handled with safety measures to minimize radiation exposure to clinical personnel and patients.

Prior to DaTscan administration, please read the Full Prescribing Information.

Reference: 1. DaTscan [prescribing information]. Arlington Heights, IL: GE Healthcare; 2015.

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.