A Thyroid Uptake and Scan is used to measure the function of the thyroid gland. It also provides information about the size, shape and structure of the thyroid.
This exam requires the use of a radiopharmaceutical that is in the form of a capsule and taken by mouth. Measurements of the thyroid are taken two to four hours after the capsule is given and again the following day. Images of the thyroid may be taken on the first or second day, according to the reason for the exam.
Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink 4 hours prior to the exam.
Your child should maintain a low iodine diet for three days prior to the test as specified by the ordering physician; no fish and/or seafood, no added salt, no frozen or canned foods, no seaweed or kelp.
Your child should not receive radiographic contrast agents 2 to 4 weeks prior to the scan.
Your child may need to discontinue thyroid medication for up to 6 weeks prior to the exam, again as specified by the ordering physician; call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 215-590-2592 to ensure that any medications your child may take do not interfere with the exam.
Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany the child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.
You must check in to Outpatient Registration, on the third floor of the Main Hospital, 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.
The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.
If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.
Once the registration process is completed, the Nuclear Medicine Department will be notified. A technologist will come out to the central registration area and bring you and your child to the Nuclear Medicine exam room.
The technologist will ask why the Thyroid Uptake and Scan is being performed and explain the exam to you and your child. Your child will then be given a radioactive Iodine capsule which helps to 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). Your child is then allowed to take a break. During the break, you and your child may leave the Nuclear Medicine department if you wish. The technologist will tell you what time you need to return to the department for the imaging portion of the test.
Upon return to the Nuclear Medicine Department 2 to 4 hours later, a measurement of the thyroid is taken using a special probe placed 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.
Child Life Specialists are available to answer questions you might have about how to prepare and support your child during the procedure. A child life specialist can also be present at the time of your child's appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways using well established preparation materials. The specialist can also be available to help implement distraction techniques to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience. Please call 215-590-2001 or click the link above for more information.
Instructions after the exam will be given by the Nuclear Medicine Technologist according to the referring physician's orders.
The images from your child's exam are interpreted on the same day and a report is sent to your physician's office.
If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 215-590-2584.