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Thyroid Scan

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 make sure you have NOT received injections for CT, X-ray, or angiograms within one month prior to your test.
  • Stop taking all thyroid medications two weeks prior to your appointment. Please consult with your doctor prior to stopping. Please consult this list of medications that you need stop taking prior to this study.
  • Please let us know if you are taking an anti-arrhythmic drug called Amiodarone.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception and fill out necessary paperwork.
  • Please let your technologist know if you are claustrophobic prior to the start of the exam.
  • Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
  • Please do not bring children who require supervision.
  • During your exam, you will be injected with a radioactive tracer and images will be taken immediately.

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.

FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.

DURATION

30-45 minutes