Gamma probe

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A gamma probe is a handheld device used with a Geiger-Muller tube[citation needed] or scintillation counter, for intraoperative use following interstitial injection of a radionuclide, to locate regional lymph nodes by their radioactivity.[1] It is used primarily for sentinel lymph node mapping and parathyroid surgery. The Gamma Probe is also used for RSL (Radioactive Seed Localization), to locate small and non-palpable breast lesions.


The sentinel node market experienced high growth in the early and mid 90's starting with melanoma sentinel node surgical search and breast cancer sentinel node staging; both are currently considered standards of care. Most surgeons propose node staging after a positive breast biopsy. New applications are being developed for parathyroid direct detection and intra-operative detection of cancerous tissue using tumor-seeking radiopharmaceuticals. Parathyroid detection is growing fast, while the intraoperative use of gamma probes for direct tumor detection is just emerging.

Quality Criteria[edit]

To evaluate the quality of a gamma probe system one must measure or discuss the following parameters:

  1. Spatial selectivity
  2. Spatial resolution
  3. Maximum sensitivity
  4. Quality of shielding
  5. Energy resolution and spectral discrimination
  6. Display of signal


The following companies manufacture gamma probes:[2]

Company Device Control Unit PET Capable Origin Country Company Website Worldwide Market Share
Dilon Diagnostics Navigator yes VA, USA 45%
Devicor Medical Products, Inc. Neoprobe yes OH, USA 35%
Care Wise Medical C-Trak yes CA, USA 15%
IntraMedical Imaging Node Seeker yes CA, USA 1%
Oncovision WProbe  ? Spain 1%
CLERAD Gamma Sup yes France <1%
Eurorad SA Euro Probe  ? France 1%
World of Medicine Gamma Finder  ? Germany 1%
Nucleo Med (Pol.Hi.Tech) Nucleo Probe  ? Italy <1%
DeLong Instruments DiSurpro  ? Czech Republic <1%
Nuclear Lab DGC II  ? Argentina <1%
GFE Service Gamma Locator DXI yes Germany <1%
Crystal Photonics GmbH Crystal Probe yes Germany

Silicon Sensor Intl. SIS System yes Germany <1%
Gammasonics Gamma Probe Explorer yes Australia <1%
Parto Negar Persia SURGEOGUIDE yes Iran <1%

Isotopes for clinical use with Gamma Probes[edit]

  1. Tc99m - Technetium-99m
  2. I125 - Iodine 125
  3. I131 - Iodine 131
  4. In111 - Indium 111
  5. F18 - Fluorine 18
  6. Ga68 - Gallium 68

Calibration / Test Isotopes used with Gamma Probes[edit]

  1. Co57 - Cobalt 57
  2. Na22 - Sodium 22

See also[edit]

External links[edit]