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What Is A Description Of A Thyroid Scan

When Can I Expect The Results Of My Thyroid Scan

Your Radiologist Explains: Thyroid Gland and Scan

The time that it takes your doctor to receive a written report on the test will vary, depending on:

  • the urgency with which the result is needed
  • whether more information is needed from your doctor before the examination can be interpreted by the radiologist or nuclear medicine physician
  • whether you have had previous X-rays or other medical imaging that needs to be compared with this new scan
  • how the report is conveyed from the hospital or radiology facility to your doctor

It is important that you discuss the results with your doctor, so they can explain what the results mean for you.

*The author has no conflict of interest with this topic.

Page last modified on 24/8/2018.

What Is It Like For A Patient To Have A Thyroid Ultrasound

A thyroid scan is a simple outpatient procedure. You lie flat on the table, with your head and neck extended. Doctors apply a gel, which allows the sound waves from the ultrasound probe to get through the skin.

If a biopsy is needed, doctors use ultrasound to scan the area again, ensuring that they know exactly where to place the needle. Doctors numb the skin and insert a fine needle right into the nodule to retrieve cells.

Usually three needle passes are performed. After that, they perform one more scan to make sure the needle hasnt caused any complications, and it rarely does. We put on a Band-Aid and the patient goes home or right back to work, Dr, Kent says. The whole thing takes about a half-hour to an hour.

The Contrast Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

  • The IntroductionLets us have a debate and think it in this way, the word Hypo means not enough, accordingly when your gland actually does not produce enough amount of essential hormones, , one can be assured of the fact that they are eventually popping up the symptoms of Hypothyroidism.
  • The Cause for Hypothyroidism
  • There are numerous reasons owing to which this disorder develops, let us have a look at some of them:

    • Firstly, by the simple removal of the gland
    • Secondly, when hypothyroid conditions is present right from birth
    • Thirdly, when the inflammation of the gland occurs
    • Fourthly, there is too much of radiation exposure
    • Lastly, the presence of an autoimmune disease called the Hashimotos Disease
  • The Symptoms for the condition of HypothyroidismOne of the major symptoms for hypothyroidism includes difficulty metabolizing the carbohydrates and sugars, weight gain, depression, irregular periods, and sometimes even joint pain, sensitivity to both heat and cold, as well as high cholesterol, the tightness in the throat, the vision problems, dryness of skin along with the thinning of hair, panic attacks. You may also find all these upheaval occurring within your body.
  • The Diagnosis with TestDetermining that all the blood levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone , is the main basic way of diagnosing hypothyroidism. If the TSH level is above normal you are detected with the condition of hypothyroidism.
  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Firstly, the inflammation of the gland
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    What Is The Definition Or Description Of: Thyroid Nuclear Scan

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    Thyroid Scan Side Effects

    Thyroid Scan: Purpose, Procedure, and Results

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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.

    Medical Definition Of Thyroid Scan

    Reviewed on 3/29/2021

    Thyroid scan: An image taken of a patient’s thyroid gland after the patient swallows radioactive iodine or technetium. The image shows the thyroid gland in action as it accumulates radioactive material. Thyroid scanning is used to determine how active thyroid tissue is in manufacturing thyroid hormone. This can help a physician determine whether inflammation of the thyroid gland is present. It can also show the presence and degree of overactivity of the gland . Thyroid scanning is especially helpful in evaluating thyroid nodules, particularly after a fine-needle aspiration biopsy has failed to provide a diagnosis. A scan can reveal whether a thyroid nodule is functioning. A functioning nodule actively takes up iodine to produce thyroid hormone, and so it produces a localized ‘hot’ area on the image. A nonfunctioning nodule does not take up iodine, and it produces a localized ‘cold‘ area. Most nodules, particularly if they are functioning, are not malignant.

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    What Is The Thyroid Gland

    • The thyroid is a gland that makes and stores essential hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate of chemical reactions in the body. It is located in the anterior neck just below the “Adam’s apple.”
    • The thyroid gland is the main part of the body that takes up iodine. In a thyroid scan, iodine is labeled with a radioactive tracer, and a special camera is used to measure how much tracer is absorbed from the bloodstream by the thyroid gland. If a patient is allergic to iodine, technetium can be used as an alternative.

    What Will I Experience During And After The Procedure

    Your Radiologist Explains: Thyroid Scan and Uptake

    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.

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    How Does The Thyroid Scan And Uptake Radiology Procedure Work

    • The Thyroid Scan and Uptake procedure uses radiotracers, which are injected, swallowed, or inhaled by the patients
    • Once these radiotracers are in the body, they accumulate in organs and give-off gamma rays that can be detected by gamma cameras and SPECT
    • After detection of these gamma rays, a computer program is able to create a 3-dimensional image of the target organ and give details about the structure and function of the organ, thus helping in the diagnosis

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

    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.

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    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.

    What To Think About

    Scan, thyroid. Causes, symptoms, treatment Scan, thyroid
    • Blood tests may be done before a thyroid scan to measure the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood.
    • Thyroid Hormone Tests
  • Cancer of the thyroid is usually treated with surgery. If the tumour is large, has spread outside the thyroid gland, or has recurred, it may then be treated with very high doses of radioactive iodine. After treating recurring thyroid cancer, a scan of the entire body can be done to see where the cancer has spread.
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    Normal And Critical Findings

    The normal values of thyroid uptake of radiotracer are 3 to 16% at 6 hours and 8 to 25% at 24 hours. These values may change according to laboratory standard techniques or patient dietary habits.

    The thyroid gland can uptake more or less than normal. More than normal uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland indicates hyperactive thyroid and less than normal uptake infers hypoactive thyroid gland, or interference with the uptake .

    • Following are some of the causes of increased uptake of radiotracer:

    1) Hyperthyroidism due to Graves, multinodular goiter or thyroid adenoma

    2) Goiter

    3) Early-stage of Hashimoto thyroiditis

    4) Iodine deficiency

    5) The recovery phase from subacute, silent, or postpartum thyroiditis

    6) Pregnancy

    8) Withdrawl of antithyroid medication

    9) Rebound after the suppression of thyrotropin

    10) Congenital defects of thyroid hormone synthesis

    • Some of the causes of decreased uptake of radiotracer are as follows:

    1) Primary hypothyroidism

    Factors that clinician should consider before conducting thyroid uptake and scan are as follows :

    • Diarrhea that can decrease the absorption of the dye if given orally
    • Head CT with oral or intravenous contrast within the past two weeks
    • Unacceptable quantity of iodine in the diet
    • Hypochloremia that can increase the absorption of the radiotracer
    • Iodine containing drugs
    • Thyroid hormone replacement and antithyroid drugs
    • Chronic renal failure that impairs iodide clearance, expands the iodide pool, and lowers the %RAIU

    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

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    Recovery From A Thyroid Scan

    After your thyroid scan, you must contact your physician for instructions on how to resume taking your thyroid medication.

    The radioactive iodine in your body is passed when you urinate. You may be advised to drink extra fluids and empty your bladder often to flush out the radionuclide. You may need to be careful to protect others from potential exposure to the material. To do this, your doctor may advise you to flush twice after using the toilet for up to 48 hours after the test.

    You can typically resume your normal diet and activities immediately after any thyroid scan.

    Thyroid Scan With I 123

    Your Radiologist Explains: Thyroid Scan Procedure

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    Uses Of A Thyroid Scan

    Thyroid scans can help your doctor determine if your thyroid is working properly. You may also have a radioactive iodine uptake test with the scan to measure your thyroids reaction.

    A radioactive material called a radioisotope, or radionuclide tracer, is given to you before the test. You may get it through an injection, a liquid, or a tablet. The tracer releases gamma rays when its in your body. A gamma camera or scanner can detect this type of energy from outside your body.

    The camera scans your thyroid area. It tracks the tracer and measures how your thyroid processes it. The camera works with a computer to create images that detail the thyroids structure and function based on how it interacts with the tracer.

    A thyroid scan can be used to evaluate abnormalities found in a physical exam or laboratory test. The images from this test can be used to diagnose:

    • lumps, nodules , or other growths
    • inflammation or swelling
    • thyroid cancer

    An RAIU evaluates the function of the thyroid gland. When your thyroid absorbs the radioactive iodine, it processes the iodine to make thyroid hormones. By measuring the amount of radioactive iodine in your thyroid gland, your doctor can evaluate the way youre producing thyroid hormones.

    What Are Some Questions For Your Physician

    Some of the basic questions that you might ask your healthcare provider or physician are as follows:

    • What is a Thyroid Scan and Uptake procedure?
    • Why is this procedure necessary? How will it help?
    • How soon should I get it done? Is it an emergency?
    • Who are the medical personnel involved in this procedure?
    • Where is the procedure performed?
    • What are the risks while performing the procedure?
    • What are the complications that might take place during recovery?
    • What are the possible side effects from the procedure? How can I minimize these side effects?
    • How long will it take to recover? When can I resume normal work?
    • How many such procedures have you performed?
    • Are there any lifestyle restrictions or modifications required after the procedure is performed?
    • Are there any follow-up tests, periodic visits to the healthcare facility required after the procedure?
    • Is there any medication that needs to be taken for life after the procedure?
    • What are the costs involved?

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    How Should I Prepare

    You may wear a gown during the exam or be allowed to wear your own clothing.

    Women should always tell their doctor and technologist if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. See the Safety in X-ray, Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Procedures page for more information about pregnancy and breastfeeding related to nuclear medicine imaging.

    Tell the doctor and your exam technologist about any medications you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements. List any allergies, recent illnesses, and other medical conditions.

    You should tell your physician if you:

    • have had any tests, such as an x-ray or CT scan, surgeries or treatments using iodinated contrast material within the last two months.
    • are taking medications or ingesting other substances that contain iodine, including kelp, seaweed, cough syrups, multivitamins or heart medications.
    • have any allergies to iodine, medications and anesthetics.
    • are breastfeeding.

    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.

    Leave jewelry and accessories at home or remove them prior to the exam. These objects may interfere with the procedure.

    Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for your specific exam.

    What Is The Equipment Used

    Contrast enhanced computed tomography scan of locally ...

    The following equipment may be used in the Thyroid Scan and Uptake procedure:

    • Single photon emission computed tomography and gamma camera for imaging
    • Gamma cameras are able to detect radiation emitted from the patients body after radioactive material is administered to the patient. It is a box-like machine with examination table built in the middle, which slides in and out of the box
    • The SPECT rotates the gamma camera head to produce 3-dimensional images of the target organ

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    What Does The Equipment Look Like

    Nuclear medicine uses a special gamma camera and single-photon emission-computed tomography imaging techniques.

    The gamma camera records the energy emissions from the radiotracer in your body and converts it into an image. The gamma camera itself does not emit any radiation. It has radiation detectors called gamma camera heads. These are encased in metal and plastic, often shaped like a box, and attached to a round, donut-shaped gantry. The patient lies on an exam table that slides in between two parallel gamma camera heads, above and beneath the patient. Sometimes, the doctor will orient the gamma camera heads at a 90-degree angle over the patient’s body.

    In SPECT, the gamma camera heads rotate around the patient’s body to produce detailed, three-dimensional images.

    A computer creates the images using the data from the gamma camera.

    A probe is a small hand-held device resembling a microphone. It measures the amount of radiotracer in an area of your body.

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