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How Is A Thyroid Uptake Scan Done

Precautions After The Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test

Nuclear Medicine Thyroid Uptake & Scan

You can get back to regular activities after the test but you should take special precautions when you urinate for the next 24 hours. Your body will get rid of the radioactive tracer through your urine and during this period it is important to flush the toilet twice every time you use it and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after each time you urinate.

How Do I Prepare For A Thyroid Scan And Uptake Test

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for these tests. You will need to stop using supplements or medicines that contain iodine. You may also need to follow a low-iodine diet for about a week before these tests. Your healthcare provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the tests. He will also tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your tests. You may be told not to wear jewelry or anything made of metal during the tests.

How To Understand The Results Of A Thyroid Scan

Before undergoing a thyroid scan, the patient will have to undergo a blood test that will help in determining the patients thyroid levels. It is important to consult a healthcare physician when it comes to interpreting the results. The scan will provide a better understanding of the thyroid gland and its functioning. With the help of the scan, the doctor will be able to determine the shape, outline, and position of the thyroid. Through this, the doctor will be able to interpret if the gland is functioning as it should. Another important aspect the scan will uncover is the thyroid glands activeness.

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Risks Of A Thyroid Scan

Theres a small but safe amount of radiation contained in the radionuclide used in any thyroid scan. Your exposure to radiation will be minimal and within the acceptable ranges for diagnostic exams. There are no known long-term complications of having a nuclear medicine procedure.

Allergic reactions to the radionuclide material are extremely rare. The effects are mild when they occur. You may experience mild pain and redness at the injection site for a short time if you receive an injection of the radionuclide.

Even though the radiation exposure is minimal and short term, thyroid scans arent recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Your doctor may recommend that you avoid becoming pregnant or fathering a child for six months after the test if youve had a metastatic scan.

Can I Use My Cell Phone After Radioactive Iodine

Thyroid uptake and scan. Thyroid scan reflecting uptake of ...

You will have to stay in your room for at least 1 to 2 hours after your treatment. You can use your cell phone or watch TV to help pass the time. You wont be able to have visitors during this time. You may not have any side effects from the treatment right after you get it, but you may have side effects later.

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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

A thyroid scan, also called a thyroid scan and radioactiveiodine uptake test or simply a thyroid uptake test, is a type of nuclear imaging test. During this test a small amount of radioactive material is used to help diagnose diseases of the thyroid gland. The test itself is simple, but must be performed over two days to get accurate information about the thyroid.

Nuclear imaging tests are those which use small amounts of radioactive material to act as a tracer inside the body. In the case of a thyroid uptake test, the material used is radioactive iodine. Several hours before the scan, the patient ingests a carefully measured amount of radioactive iodine, and this material is used within the body as normal iodine would be. The material is taken up by the thyroid gland, and can then be assessed by equipment that detects radioactive material.

Thyroid scans are used to determine whether the thyroid gland is working normally. An underactive or overactive thyroid will take up less or more iodine, respectively, and this can be detected by the scan. A thyroid uptake scan can also detect the size of the thyroid gland and whether any lumps have formed within the gland which might indicate the presence of cancer.

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What Are Some Common Uses Of The Procedure

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

Let The Technologist Know

Radioactive Iodine Thyroid Uptake Scan#FertilityFriday

For your safety, tell the technologist if you:

  • Are pregnant or might be pregnant

  • Are breastfeeding

  • Are taking any medicines

  • Are allergic to iodine, anesthetics, or any medicines

  • Had a recent nuclear medicine scan or other tests that used iodine, including X-ray or CT tests that used contrast

  • Have other health problems, such as diabetes or kidney problems

  • Have any allergies

  • Have any current illnesses or long-time health conditions

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Are There Any Side

The term ‘radioactivity’ may sound alarming. But, the radioactive chemicals used in radionuclide scans are considered to be safe and they leave the body quickly. The dose of radiation that your body receives is very small. In many cases, the level of radiation involved is not much different to a series of a few normal X-rays. However:

  • As with any other types of radiation , there is a small risk that the gamma rays may affect an unborn child. So, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you may be pregnant.
  • Rarely, some people have an allergic reaction to the injected chemical.
  • Theoretically, it is possible to receive an overdose when the chemical is injected. This is very rare.

How Long Does The Test Take

When you arrive to the nuclear medicine department you will be given two radioactive iodine capsules. There are no side effects to these capsules. They are absorbed by your thyroid to allow the doctor to see how your thyroid is functioning. The capsules have to circulate for four hours before we can do the scan. After you swallow the capsules you will be allowed to leave the department with a time to return four hours later. When you return we will use a probe over your thyroid to see how much of the capsules were absorbed. Then we will take four images of your thyroid. To do this you will lie onto our imaging table with a camera positioned over your thyroid. This process will take approximately 45 minutes. You may be required to return the following day for additional images.

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Can You Eat Or Drink Before A Thyroid Uptake Scan

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. In respect to this, can you drink water before a thyroid uptake scan?

Food. Do not eat or drink for four hours before or two hours after your thyroid test. You may drink water.

Subsequently, question is, how do you prepare for radioactive iodine uptake test? To prepare for an RAIU test:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions about not eating before the test. Most often, you will need to stop eating 8 hours before the test.
  • Tell your doctor about all of the medicines, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
  • Considering this, can I eat before thyroid uptake scan?

    In the days prior to your examination, blood tests may be performed to measure the level of thyroid hormones in your blood. You may be told not to eat for several hours before your exam because eating can affect the accuracy of the uptake measurement.

    Can you eat before a nuclear scan?

    Nuclear Medicine Preparation. If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you. Do not eat or drink anything four hours before the exam.

    How To Prepare For A Thyroid Scan

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    When it comes to preparing for this test, it is important to be transparent with the health care physician. All information about medicine consumption like recent medicine consumed, consuming medicines with iodine, etc must be disclosed to the health care physician.On consulting with your health care physician, you may have to discontinue any medicine containing iodine or any thyroid supplements for weeks before the scan. The patient may also be asked to avoid certain types of food like seafood, shellfish, dairy products, etc. Before a thyroid scan, a blood test will be done to check on the thyroid levels. The patient will also be advised not to eat for a few hours before the scan as well .

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    Patient Safety And Education

    The following precautions are necessary before performing a thyroid uptake scan:

    • Pregnancy should be ruled out with either serum or urine pregnancy test, and the clinician should ask the patient to avoid pregnancy for six months after radioactive iodine administration.
    • The patient should avoid breastfeeding after performing this test as radioactive iodine can be secreted in breast milk.
    • This test should be administered by a trained professional.
    • The patient should receive counseling regarding physical contact safety measures by avoiding the exposure of his/her urine, stool, saliva, vomit, blood, and body fluids as well as perspiration for 48 hours.
    • Patients should also avoid public transportation and sitting close to others.
    • Patients should carry documents indicating the date, provider information, and radionuclide used while traveling through port of entry within four months of the procedure.
    • Patients should receive counseling on flushing twice after urinating or defecating for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

    How Do Thyroid Scans And Uptake Tests Work

    Thyroid scans and uptake tests use special chemicals called radionuclides. A radionuclide is a chemical which emits a type of radioactivity called gamma rays. In these tests a tiny amount of radionuclide is put into your body, usually by an injection into a vein.

    There are different types of radionuclides. Different ones tend to collect or concentrate in different organs or tissues. So, the radionuclide used depends on which part of your body is to be scanned. To test your thyroid gland, radioactive iodine is used. This is because your thyroid gland uses iodine to make certain hormones in the body. So, when the radioactive iodine is given, it is quickly taken up by the tissues of your thyroid gland. Cells which are most active in the target tissue or organ will take up more of the radionuclide. So, active parts of the tissue will emit more gamma rays than less active or inactive parts.

    Gamma rays are similar to X-rays and are detected by a device called a gamma camera. The gamma rays which are emitted from inside the body are detected by the gamma camera. The gamma rays are then converted into an electrical signal and sent to a computer. The computer builds a picture by converting the different intensities of radioactivity emitted into different colours or shades of grey.

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    Who Does The Thyroid Scan

    A nuclear medicine technologist will give the injection of the radiopharmaceutical, carry out the scan and process the images. A nuclear medicine specialist doctor will review and interpret the images together with your medical history and provide a report for your referring doctor. See Nuclear Medicine for more details about these health professionals.

    How Does The Procedure Work

    Thyroid Scan and Uptake – 3

    Ordinary x-ray exams pass x-rays through the body to create an image. Nuclear medicine uses radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers. Your doctor typically injects this material into your bloodstream. Or you may swallow it or inhale it as a gas. The material accumulates in the area under examination, where it gives off gamma rays. Special cameras detect this energy and, with the help of a computer, create pictures that detail how your organs and tissues look and function.

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    How Is A Thyroid Uptake Scan Performed

    How is a thyroid uptake scan performed?

    Is thyroid scan painful? You may experience mild pain and redness at the injection site for a short time if you receive an injection of the radionuclide. Even though the radiation exposure is minimal and short term, thyroid scans arent recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

    Do you have to fast for a thyroid uptake scan? When you arrive at Imaging Services, you will swallow a capsule that contains a tracer. You must fast for 2 more hours after swallowing this capsule. You may drink water. You may eat after this 2-hour fasting period, before you return for your uptake study.

    Can you eat after a thyroid uptake scan? Food. 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.

    Thyroid Scan And Uptake

    Thyroid scan and uptake uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers, a special camera and a computer to provide information about your thyroid’s size, shape, position and function that is often unattainable using other imaging procedures.

    Tell your doctor if there’s a possibility you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Inform your doctor of any recent illnesses, medical conditions, allergies, medications you’re taking and whether you’ve had any procedures within the last two months that used iodine-based contrast material. Your doctor will instruct you on how to prepare and may advise you not to eat for several hours prior to your exam. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.

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    Limitations Of Thyroid And Uptake Scan

    • Women who are pregnant are contraindicated from undergoing the thyroid scan and thyroid uptake procedures to as the fetus is at risk of radiation exposure.

    • Women who are lactating newborn babies are also contraindicated from thyroid scan and reuptake tests as the radiotracer may get secreted via breast milk.

    • The procedure doesnt produce high resolution image of body structures when compared to various other imaging tools.

    Indications Of Thyroid And Uptake Scan Procedure

    Part 2 Thyroid and Parathyroid

    The thyroid scan is indicated to evaluate the shape, size, and position of the thyroid gland while, the thyroid uptake is used to determine the thyroid gland function.

    Patients with a past history thyroid cancer require a full body thyroid scan.

    Both these imaging tests are indicated to determine the proper activity of the thyroid gland

    • It is used to diagnose various conditions of thyroid gland, such as cancer, tissue growths or nodules, hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland.

    • It evaluates the nature of a thyroid gland nodule

    • It has a potential to detect defective areas of gland such as inflammation, tissue growths or lumps , and swelling.

    • It determines the invasion of thyroid cancer to distant body sites.

    • It analyzes the gland changes post-operatively, or following a chemotherapy or radiotherapy

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    About Thyroid Scan And Uptake

    A thyroid scan and uptake is a diagnostic tool that belongs to a branch of nuclear medicine imaging technique. Thyroid uptake is also known as radioactive iodine uptake test . Although, it measures the function of thyroid gland however, it does not utilize imaging technique. Moreover, Nuclear medicine is a kind of medical imaging that utilizes small doses of radioactive material to detect the thyroid function. It is an effective diagnostic tool that offers various benefits such as to determine and diagnose various types of diseases to learn the severity of different disorders to treat different cancer types and various other conditions like gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, neurological disorders, endocrine imbalance, and other body abnormalities. Most importantly, the procedures based on nuclear medicine detect the molecular action in the system and hence have an ability to detect the disorder during early stages. These procedures also have the potential to determine the patients outcome to therapeutic interventions.


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