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Can You Eat Or Drink Before A Thyroid Uptake Scan

What Do I Need To Know About A Thyroid Scan And Uptake Test

Nuclear Medicine Thyroid Uptake & Scan

A thyroid scan and uptake test are nuclear medicine tests done to examine your thyroid gland. During a thyroid scan, a small amount of radioactive tracer is given to create pictures of your thyroid. The pictures show the size, shape, and position of your thyroid. A thyroid scan may also show if there are any lumps in your thyroid. During an uptake test, a radioactive iodine tracer is given to show how well your thyroid works. The amount of radioactive iodine taken up by your thyroid will be measured.

Nuclear Medicine Test Preparation At Upmc In Central Pa

Nuclear imaging uses small, safe amounts of radioactive material through injection, inhalation or ingestion, to show the function and structure of organs. As part of our commitment to providing high-quality imaging care, our caring staff will make your procedure as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

The following information will help you prepare for several nuclear imaging procedures.

Note: If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, it is very important that you notify your imaging technologist before your Nuclear Imaging procedure. Exposure to radiation can be harmful to an unborn baby.

Before your Nuclear Imaging procedure starts, our imaging technologists will ask you questions about your health and surgical history. You will also have an opportunity to ask our imaging staff any questions that you may have about the procedure.

If you suffer from claustrophobia, or have a fear of enclosed spaces, it is very important that you let your physician know before you arrive for your Nuclear Imaging procedure. There are many options available to help you feel more comfortable, including mild sedation to help you relax during the procedure.

What Is A Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test

Definition: Radioactive Iodine Uptake, or RAIU, is a test of thyroid function. The test measures the amount of radioactive iodine that accumulates in the thyroid gland. See also “thyroid scan.”

Alternative Names: Iodine uptake test RAIU

How the test is performed: RAIU is a type of nuclear test that measures how much radioactive iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland in a given time period. You are asked to ingest radioactive iodine in liquid or capsule form. After a time , you must return to have the radioactivity measured.

A gamma probe is placed over the thyroid gland in the neck to measure the amount of radioactivity in the thyroid gland. This amount of radioactivity is compared with the original dose of radioactivity and reported as a percent of the original dose.

How to prepare for the test: Fast for 8 hours before the test.

Consult with the health care provider if you have a history of factors that may affect the test . The health care provider may restrict iodine and thyroid medications for 1 week before the test.

How the test will feel: There is no discomfort. You can eat beginning about 1 to 2 hours after ingesting the radioactive iodine, and you can resume a normal diet when the test is finished. For the scanning, you are asked to lie on a table while the scanner is placed over the neck. The scan takes about 30 minutes.

Normal Values:

What abnormal results mean:

Increased :

  • hyperthyroidism
  • toxic nodular goiter

Interfering factors:

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What Is A Thyroid Scan Or Uptake

Thyroid scans are a nuclear medicine imaging procedure where radioactive materials are used to diagnose a disease or evaluate thyroid function. Nuclear medicine provides noninvasive insights down to the molecular level, offering a degree of detail not possible through other imaging procedures.

As a result, radiologists are able to identify thyroid disease in its early stages, so a patient can receive proper treatment. Scans may further determine how well a patient is responding to a treatment plan.

For thyroid scans, a radiotracer includes a small amount of radioactive material that attaches to certain proteins within the body or gathers around areas with a high inflammation, such as a tumor.

A gamma camera or single-photon emission-computed tomography scan detects the radioactive materials gamma ray emissions and images are displayed on a computer monitor. The images allow for a closer look at the thyroids structure and function, including its role within the bodys metabolic process. Images may be two or three-dimensional.

During a thyroid scan, the patient lies on a table below a gamma camera that sits on a gantry and rotates around the area being examined. The thyroid uptake does not create images, but still offers information on how the organ is functioning.

How Do I Prepare For A Thyroid Uptake Scan


Do not eat or drink for four hours before or two hours after your thyroid test.

  • Do not eat or drink for four hours before or two hours after your thyroid test. You may drink water.
  • If you have any other test today where you are told not to eat or drink for a longer amount of time, please follow those instructions.
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    Can You Remove Nodules From Thyroid

    Surgery. A common treatment for cancerous nodules is surgical removal. In the past, it was standard to remove a majority of thyroid tissue a procedure called near-total thyroidectomy. However, today more limited surgery to remove only half of the thyroid may be appropriate for some cancerous nodules.

    How Do I Prepare For A Thyroid Scan

    Do not eat or drink for four hours before or two hours after your thyroid test.

  • Do not eat or drink for four hours before or two hours after your thyroid test. You may drink water.
  • If you have any other test today where you are told not to eat or drink for a longer amount of time, please follow those instructions.
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    What Should You Do Prior To Your Child’s Exam

    • Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink four hours prior to the exam.
    • Your child should eat a low-iodine diet for three days prior to the test as specified by the ordering physician. Your child should not eat fish or other seafood, added salt, frozen or canned foods, seaweed or kelp.
    • Your child should not receive radiographic contrast agents two to four weeks prior to the scan.
    • Your child may need to discontinue thyroid medication for up to six weeks prior to the exam, as specified by the ordering physician. Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department to ensure that any medications your child takes do not interfere with the exam.

    Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany their child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.

    Dear Friends And Neighbors

    Radioactive Iodine Thyroid Uptake Scan#FertilityFriday

    CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so even during these never-seen-before times.

    The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

    How can you help?

    • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
    • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.
  • Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

    Ken Holmen, MD

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    What Size Thyroid Nodule Should Be Biopsied

    According to the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound, biopsy should be performed on a nodule 1 cm in diameter or larger with microcalcifications, 1.5 cm in diameter or larger that is solid or has coarse calcifications, and 2 cm in diameter or larger that has mixed solid and cystic components, and a nodule that has

    What Is 24 Hour Thyroid Uptake

    Another uptake is usually done 24 hours later. During the uptake, you lie on your back on a table. A device called a gamma probe is moved back and forth over the area of your neck where the thyroid gland is located. The probe detects the location and intensity of the rays given off by the radioactive material.

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    What Will I Experience During And After The Procedure

    Most thyroid scan and thyroid uptake procedures are painless. However, during the thyroid scan, you may feel uncomfortable when lying completely still with your head extended backward while the gamma camera is taking images.

    You will feel a slight pin prick when the technologist inserts the needle into your vein for the intravenous line. You may feel a cold sensation moving up your arm during the radiotracer injection. Generally, there are no other side effects.

    Radiotracers have little or no taste. Inhaling a radiotracer feels no different than breathing the air around you or holding your breath.

    It is important to remain still during the exam. Nuclear imaging causes no pain. However, having to remain still or in one position for long periods may cause discomfort

    Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you may resume your normal activities after your exam. A technologist, nurse, or doctor will provide you with any necessary special instructions before you leave.

    The small amount of radiotracer in your body will lose its radioactivity over time through the natural process of radioactive decay. It may also pass out of your body through your urine or stool during the first few hours or days after the test. Drink plenty of water to help flush the material out of your body.

    What Is A Thyroid Scan And Uptake

    Clear Liquid Diet

    A thyroid scan is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. The radioactive iodine uptake test is also known as a thyroid uptake. It is a measurement of thyroid function, but does not involve imaging.

    Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive material called radiotracers. Doctors use nuclear medicine to diagnose, evaluate, and treat various diseases. These include cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, or neurological disorders, and other conditions. Nuclear medicine exams pinpoint molecular activity. This gives them the potential to find disease in its earliest stages. They can also show whether you are responding to treatment.

    Nuclear medicine is noninvasive. Except for intravenous injections, it is usually painless. These tests use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers to help diagnose and assess medical conditions.

    Radiotracers are molecules linked to, or “labeled” with, a small amount of radioactive material. They accumulate in tumors or regions of inflammation. They can also bind to specific proteins in the body. The most common radiotracer is F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose , a molecule similar to glucose. Cancer cells are more metabolically active and may absorb glucose at a higher rate. This higher rate can be seen on PET scans. This allows your doctor to detect disease before it may be seen on other imaging tests. FDG is just one of many radiotracers in use or in development.

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    What Are The Limitations Of The Thyroid Scan And Uptake

    The thyroid scan and thyroid uptake are not performed on patients who are pregnant because of the risk of exposing the fetus to radiation. These tests are also not recommended for breastfeeding women.

    Nuclear medicine procedures can be time consuming. It can take several hours to days for the radiotracer to accumulate in the area of interest. Plus, imaging may take up to several hours to perform. In some cases, newer equipment can substantially shorten the procedure time.

    The image resolution of nuclear medicine images may not be as high as that of CT or MRI. However, nuclear medicine scans are more sensitive for a variety of indications. The functional information they yield is often unobtainable using other imaging techniques.

    What Will Happen During A Thyroid Scan And Uptake Test

    • For a thyroid scan, you will be given a radioactive tracer in the form of a liquid, pill, or injection. If you will also have an uptake test, you will be given radioactive iodine in the form of a pill or liquid. The scan will take place from 6 to 24 hours after you take the iodine in liquid or pill form. If you received an injection, the scan will take place about 30 minutes after the injection. The uptake test will be done from several hours to 24 hours after you take the radioactive iodine.
    • During the thyroid scan, you will lie on an exam table. Your head will be tipped backward so your neck will be extended. A camera will take several pictures of your thyroid from different angles. You will need to remain very still while the camera takes the pictures. During the uptake test, you will be sitting. A probe will be placed near your neck to take measurements of the amount of iodine taken up by your thyroid. You may need 2 measurements taken at different times.

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    Risks And Possible Complications

    A thyroid scan and uptake can pose certain risks if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk with your doctor about these risks before you have either test.

    This test does expose you to very low levels of radiation that is typical with other medical imaging studies. This exposure is felt to be very low. Often this risk is far outweighed by the benefits of the study.

    Is A 2 Cm Thyroid Nodule Large

    Thyroid Uptake – Pt 1

    The risk of cancer increased to 15% of nodules greater than 2 cm. In nodules that were larger than this 2 cm threshold, the cancer risk was unchanged. However, the proportion of rarer types of thyroid cancer such as follicular and Hurthle cell cancer did progressively increase with . increasing nodule size.

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    What Is This Test

    The thyroid uptake test is done to find out how your thyroid gland is working. The thyroid scan is done to see if there are overactive or underactive parts within your thyroid gland.

    The most common reasons for these tests are to look for overactive thyroid, underactive thyroid or inflammation of the thyroid. If you have an overactive thyroid, the uptake and scan results may be used to plan radioactive therapy.

    Who Should Have This Procedure

    A doctor looking to examine the size, shape and location of the thyroid gland may request a scan, while uptake procedures are designed to examine thyroid function. Patients whove had or are currently undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer may benefit from a whole-body thyroid scan.

    These tests allow a doctor to:

    • See how well this endocrine gland is working
    • Diagnose issues like hyperthyroidism, cancer or benign growths
    • Gather detailed information about a nodule within the thyroid or unexplained inflammation
    • Determine if thyroid cancer has spread outsole the thyroid
    • Evaluate the effects of medication changes, surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy

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    What Is A Thyroid Uptake And Scan

    A thyroid uptake and scan measures the function of your child’s thyroid gland. It also gives us information about the size, shape and structure of the thyroid.

    Your child will swallow a radiopharmaceutical capsule. We will take the measurements of the thyroid two to four hours later, and again the following day. Depending on the reason for the exam, we may also take images of the thyroid on the first or second day.

    The radiopharmaceutical is medicine combined with a small amount of radioactive material called a tracer. It travels to the area of your child we need to examine.

    Radiopharmaceuticals are carefully tested. The risk of side effects is extremely small. Most radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine studies give less radiation exposure than a day at the beach.

    What Are Some Common Uses Of The Procedure

    Thyroid Problems Explained

    The thyroid scan is used to determine the size, shape and position of the thyroid gland. The thyroid uptake is performed to evaluate the function of the gland. A whole-body thyroid scan is typically performed on people who have or had thyroid cancer.

    A physician may perform these imaging tests to:

    • determine if the gland is working properly
    • help diagnose problems with the thyroid gland, such as an overactive thyroid gland, a condition called hyperthyroidism, cancer or other growths
    • assess the nature of a nodule discovered in the gland
    • detect areas of abnormality, such as lumps or inflammation
    • determine whether thyroid cancer has spread beyond the thyroid gland
    • evaluate changes in the gland following medication use, surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy

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    Thyroid Uptake And Nuclear Stress Test

    Thyroid Uptake and Scan: This is usually a two day procedure.First Day: Patient will be asked to come in to the office to pick up an iodine capsule. The patient will swallow iodine capsule 6 hours prior to exam.Second Day: The Thyroid Scan will be performed. The patient will be injected with a small amount of a radioactive agent. Images will then be taken to examine the thyroid.Thyroid Scan Prep:Nothing by mouth 6 hours prior to examNo shell fish 7 days prior to examNo cough medicine prior to appointment, unless iodine freeAfter checking with your doctor, discontinue taking the following medication:Synthroid – 4 weeks prior to examCytonel – 2 weeks prior to examPTU – 1 week prior to examTapazole – 5 days prior to examLavoxyl – 8 days prior to examMultivitamins – 2 weeks prior to examNo iodine contrast studies 6 weeks prior to examPlease call the office with any questions you might have concerning your Thyroid Scan procedure.We ask that you arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time so that we can complete a detailed medicalNUCLEAR STRESS TEST*** If you are unable to keep your appointment, you MUST call to cancel.***Your physician has ordered a nuclear stress test. This is a noninvasive method of detecting heart disease. It is used to evaluate patients who have chest discomfort, to monitor heart function in patients with known heart disease, or to evaluate the progress of patients who have had previous angioplasties or stents.TEST PREPARATION



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