Thyroid Scans at UPMC Susquehanna
A thyroid scan uses small amounts of radioactive materials, a special camera and a computer to provide information about your thyroid’s size, shape, position and function.
Thyroid scans are ordered for:
- Evaluation of thyroid nodules
- Detection of thyroid tissue outside the neck region; lingual, substernal, ovarian
- Differential diagnosis of
- Evaluation of goiter
- Diagnosis of thyroiditis and follow-up
To prepare for a thyroid scan procedure, you will need to be on a regimen with your thyroid medications.
Discontinue thyroid medications as follows:
- T4: 4 weeks
- T3: 2 weeks
- Antithyroid meds; 3 days
- Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone, Nexterone, Cordarone) off for three months. Please consult with your prescribing physician for alternative replacement.
Prior to your thyroid scan, no procedures containing iodinated contrast should be done within four weeks of your scheduled scan. MRI dyes will not affect thyroid scan. Discontinue consumption of super skim milk, soy milk and almond milk within one week of the scan. If you are breastfeeding, please notify us so we can modify your procedure.
How Long Will This Take?
Upon arrival, you will be registered by our office staff. A certified nuclear medicine technologist will explain the procedure and administer the isotope that is contained in a pill. Depending on the reason or the isotope we use, we will have you return in six hours for an uptake procedure.
The uptake takes less than 10 minutes. We use a special device that measures your neck for the tracer we gave in the pill. You will then be instructed to return 24 hours after we gave you the pill. Upon your return, a certified nuclear medicine technologist perform an uptake procedure on the neck which takes 10 minutes. They will administer an isotope IV, and we will need to wait 15 minutes to allow time for circulation. Once 15 minutes is up, a certified nuclear medicine technologist will perform the thyroid scan.
A certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity. You will receive an isotope in the form of a pill and depending on the reason for the test you will either be asked to return in six or 24 hours (your physician will know this information at time of scheduling and share it with you before you arrive for the test). All patients will return within 24 hours from injection and be scanned. You will be lying on your back while we take pictures of your thyroid (located in your neck) from multiple projections. A board certified nuclear medicine physician will interpret your scan. The results will be available to your physician within one working day.