A nuclear medicine scan uses a special camera and a small amount of radioactive material to create pictures of your organs (such as your heart, lungs, liver, and gallbladder) and bones. Nuclear medicine scans may be used to both diagnose and treat disease. Some types of nuclear medicine scans commonly used include:
PET scan (positron emission tomography)
Specific body part scans (such as bone scans, biliary scans, thyroid scans, and cardiac scans)
SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography)
PET/CT scans (PET/computerized tomography)
MUGA (multi-gated acquisition) scan
The type of scan I'm having is called:__________________________________
The way you get ready for a nuclear medicine scan depends on the specific type of test you're having. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
Tell your provider about all the medicines you take. Ask if it’s OK to take them before your test. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines. It also includes vitamins, herbs, and other supplements.
Follow any directions you're given for not eating or drinking before the test. You may be advised to avoid caffeine or tobacco for a certain amount of time before the test.
You'll be given a tracer (radioactive material). It may be injected, swallowed, or inhaled. If injected, you will get an IV (intravenous) line. Your scan may then be done right away. Or you may need to wait a few hours or even days to allow the tracer to concentrate in the part of the body being studied. You may be scanned multiple times during 1 day. This depends on the type of nuclear scan you have.
Your scan may take a few hours. Bring something you can do if you need to wait.
Let the technologist know if you:
Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
Have had a nuclear medicine scan before
Have had a recent barium study or an X-ray using contrast
Have any fractures or artificial joints
Have any allergies
You'll lie on a narrow imaging table.
A large camera is placed close to your body.
Remain as still as you can while the camera takes the pictures. This will ensure the best images.
The table or camera may be adjusted to take more pictures.
Drink plenty of water to help clear the tracer from your body.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone.
Your next appointment is: _________________