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Thyroid Uptake and Scan
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Thyroid Uptake and Scan

This test is primarily performed to evaluate the overall function of the thyroid gland. It also shows the size and structure of the gland.

Is There Any Special Preparation Needed Before the Test?

There are certain medications that must not be taken prior to having this test perform, to assure the most accurate results. Please remind your doctor of the medications you are taking to make sure they do not interfere with the exam. The exam must also be performed a certain amount of time after some x-ray procedures that use Iodinated Materials. For more specific information, we ask that you call our facility.

How is the Test Performed?

This test usually requires two days to perform:

On Day 1
You will receive a capsule, which contains a small amount of radioactivity. Adverse reaction to this capsule is extremely rare. This will take about 5 minutes.

On Day 2
About 24 hours after receiving the capsule, you will sit or lie down for:

The uptake -- a probe is passed over your neck to measure your thyroid's ability to absorb the contents of the capsule. This takes about 15 minutes.
The scan -- a gamma camera takes pictures to show the structure of the thyroid and the ability to function. This takes about 45 minutes.
In some instances only one of these procedures are done. You may also need one or both done on day 1, about 4 to 6 hours after receiving the isotope.

What Happens After the Test?

When the exam is completed, the nuclear medicine physician will review your images, prepare a written report and discuss the results with your doctor. Your doctor will then explain the test results to you and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.

What Other Information Should I Know?

  • The amount of radiation you will receive during the test is no more than what you would receive from similar x-ray procedures.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, think that you are pregnant or are a nursing mother.
  • The tracer you are given remains in your body for a short time and is cleared from the body through natural bodily functions. Drinking plenty of fluids will help eliminate the material more quickly.
  • You will be able to resume your daily activities after the test.