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What Is A Thyroid Uptake Scan

Patient Safety And Education

Nuclear Medicine Thyroid Uptake & Scan

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 I Prepare For A Nuclear Medicine Thyroid Scan

Concentration of the radiopharmaceutical in the thyroid gland is affected by several factors. The most important of all is iodine, which will prevent the radiopharmaceutical entering the gland, resulting in poor scan images. If you have had a computed tomography scan requiring intravenous iodine contrast medium, please schedule your thyroid scan at least 68 weeks after the CT scan. High iodine-containing food, health supplements and medications should also be avoided before the scan. If you are unsure whether you are taking anything that may affect the scan, please talk to your doctor or the nuclear medicine facility.

It is important that you let staff at the hospital or nuclear medicine facility where you are having the scan done know if you are pregnant or if you are breast-feeding.

This study may not be suitable for pregnant women because of the radiation dose to the growing foetus. Please discuss this with your doctor.

Women who are breast-feeding and people who are the primary or sole carer for small children may need to make special preparations after the test to stop breast-feeding for a short time and avoid close contact with young children. This is due to the small amount of radioactivity your body may release for a short time after the test. Your doctor or the nuclear medicine facility will instruct you on how to manage breast-feeding before and after the scan .

Preparing For Your Thyroid Uptake Scan

  • No food or drink four hours before your scan.
  • You may wear your own clothing, such as jogging, leggings, or sweat pants, as long as there are no metal fasteners, zippers, buttons, etc. Hospital gowns are available.
  • Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home, if possible, or removed prior to the scan.

Walk-in Patients: Please be sure to bring the signed order from your physician requesting the examination and your insurance card.

What You Can Expect During Your Thyroid Uptake Scan

The Nuclear Medicine equipment used for your scan is performed in an open environment which alleviates discomfort or claustrophobia concerns, as the patient is not fully enclosed.

Your technician will provide a very safe radioactive material in the form of a pill to swallow. Once you have taken the pill, you are not required to remain at the facility while waiting for tracer to be absorb into your system. Absorption takes about three hours wait time.

Once you return for the scan, the gamma camera will move around your head and chest area without touching the body to take pictures of the tracer as it moves through your body. This process time varies with each study, during which you will need to remain still.

The scan will take approximately 3060 minutes.

After Your Thyroid Uptake Scan

How Soon Will Scan Results Be Available?

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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.

What Are The Benefits Versus Risks For This Procedure

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Following are the benefits of a Thyroid Scan and Uptake procedure:

  • It gives information about the function and anatomic structure of the target organ
  • It is a painless, less expensive, noninvasive, and an outpatient procedure
  • It provides precise information to diagnose medical conditions related to the thyroid gland

Following are the risks of Thyroid Scan and Uptake procedure:

  • Small amount of radiotracers are needed in this procedure thus, there is a very low level of radiation exposure involved
  • Some individuals may be allergic to the radiotracers used in the procedure

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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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When Do You Need A Second Opinion Prior To The Procedure

  • It is normal for a patient to feel uncomfortable and confused with a sudden inflow of information regarding Thyroid Scan and Uptake procedure and what needs to be done
  • If the patient needs further reassurance or a second opinion, a physician will almost always assist in recommending another physician
  • Also, if the procedure involves multiple steps or has many alternatives, the patient may take a second opinion to understand and choose the best one. They can also choose to approach another physician independently

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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.

How Is The Thyroid Scan Performed

Thyroid Scan and Uptake – 3

The procedure of the test is short and simple. Initially, the patient will be administered a small amount of radioactive iodine. This will be done either through a pill, an injection or a liquid. The radioactive material will release gamma waves that the camera attached to the scanner will be able to detect. Once it enters the patients body it will reach the thyroid gland. The first scan will be done within 4-6 hours of the iodine consumption, then another scan will be taken 24 hours later. For the scan, the patient will have to lie on their back with the scanner positioned over the neck and chest. The patient is requested to lie still during the scanning process to get a clear image from the camera. This test will help understand if the thyroid has any nodules or goiter, why it seems to overproduce for underproduce the required hormone and any cancerous tumors.

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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.

When Can I Expect The Results Of My Thyroid 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.

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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.

Thyroid Uptake And Scan

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

Your doctor has ordered a thyroid uptake and scan. The role of this procedure is to evaluate thyroid nodules, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and goiter.

Our team of specialized doctors, nurses and technologists is led by Louise Thomson, MD and Alessandro D’Agnolo, MD, co-chiefs of Nuclear Medicine. This exam requires three visits over two days.

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Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test

Radioactive iodine uptake test

The radioactive iodine uptake test is a type of scan used in the diagnosis of thyroid problems, particularly hyperthyroidism. It is entirely different from radioactive iodine therapy , which uses much higher doses to destroy cancerous cells. The RAIU test is also used as a follow up to RAI therapy to verify that no thyroid cells survived, which could still be cancerous.

The patient swallows a radioisotope of iodine in the form of capsule or fluid, and the absorption of this radiotracer by the thyroid is studied after 46 hours and after 24 hours with the aid of a scintillation counter. The dose is typically 0.150.37 MBq of 131I iodide, or 3.77.4 MBq of 123I iodide. The RAIU test is a reliable measurement when using a dedicated probe with a reproducibility of 1 percent and a 95%-least-significant-change of 3 percent.

The normal uptake is between 15 and 25 percent, but this may be forced down if, in the meantime, the patient has eaten foods high in iodine, such as dairy products and seafood. Low uptake suggests thyroiditis, high uptake suggests Graves’ disease, and unevenness in uptake suggests the presence of a nodule.

123I has a shorter half-life than 131I , so use of 123I exposes the body to less radiation, at the expense of less time to evaluate delayed scan images. Furthermore, 123I emits gamma radiation, while 131I emits gamma and beta radiation.

How The Test Is Performed

The test is done in this way:

  • You are given a pill that contains a tiny amount of radioactive iodine. After swallowing it, you wait as the iodine collects in the thyroid.
  • The first uptake is usually done 4 to 6 hours after you take the iodine pill. 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. A computer displays how much of the tracer is taken up by the thyroid gland.

The test takes less than 30 minutes.

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What Are Thyroid Scans And Uptake Tests Used For

Thyroid scans and uptake tests can be used for a number of different reasons, including to:

  • Check if your thyroid is working properly.
  • Determine whether thyroid cancer has spread outside your thyroid gland.
  • Look at how your thyroid gland may have changed following surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

What Is A Thyroid Uptake And Scan

Thyroid Uptake/Scan – Part 2

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.

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How Soon Will The Scan Results Be Available

A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via the internal computer system. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.

It is essential to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before undergoing this scan because of radiation exposure.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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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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How Does The Procedure Work

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.

Why Is The Thyroid Scan And Uptake Radiology Procedure Performed

Thyroid Scan and Uptake

The thyroid scan is performed to diagnose a variety of medical conditions and to determine the size and position of the thyroid gland. The thyroid uptake procedure is used to determine the function of thyroid gland. The procedure can help in:

  • Diagnosing hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancers
  • Detecting the presence of lumps and nodules in the gland, and to determine if the nodule is benign or malignant
  • Thyroid cancer patients often get a whole-body scan to determine metastasis of thyroid cancer to other parts of the body

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Dear Friends And Neighbors

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 Should You Expect During The Exam

    • The technologist will ask why the thyroid uptake and scan is being performed and will explain the exam to you and your child.
    • Your child will be given a radioactive iodine capsule, which helps measure the function and size of the thyroid. In rare instances liquid can be given in place of a capsule. This must be known when scheduling the exam.
    • You and your child may take a break and may leave the Nuclear Medicine department. The technologist will tell you what time to return for the imaging portion of the test, usually from two to four hours later.
    • We will measure your childs thyroid by placing a special probe on your child’s neck. Images may be taken at this time. The measurement helps to determine the function of the thyroid. Another measurement will be taken 24 hours later. Images may also be taken at this time.

    If youd like, our child life specialists will help you prepare and support your child during the procedure. We can also arrange to have a child life specialist at your child’s appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways and to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience.

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