This scan is used primarily to evaluate the way your thyroid gland functions. It looks at the ability of your thyroid gland to take up the radiotracer (radiopharmaceutical), that is injected into a vein in your arm. Images from this test can be used to diagnose and assess conditions such as hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), lumps, nodules or other growths on the thyroid, inflammation or swelling of the thyroid, goiter and thyroid cancer.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- Please notify your technologist if there is a chance you may be pregnant, or if you are nursing. If you are pregnant, the exam will need to be postponed. If you are uncertain, a blood test will be required to confirm you are not pregnant prior to starting the exam. This may delay or postpone your appointment if not obtained in advance. If you are nursing, you will be given further instructions regarding breastfeeding.
- Please let your technologist know if you are claustrophobic prior to the start of the exam.
- There are many substances that should not be taken prior to starting this study. Please consult this list of medications that you need stop taking prior to this study. Please get approval from your physician before stopping any medication.
- If you are taking kelp or lecithin on a daily basis, you will need to stop for two weeks prior to this study. You will also need to avoid sushi, for two weeks prior to the study.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- You will be given a radiopharmaceutical, which is injected into a vein in your arm.
- After 5-10 minutes, you will be asked to lie down on the imaging bed and a gamma camera will take several images of your thyroid.
- During the imaging, please hold as still as you can. Movement can blur the images and make them more difficult to interpret.
- The scan is painless.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have the specialized nuclear medicine physician interpret the data and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinic.