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What is a thyroid scan?

A thyroid scan is a specialized imaging procedure for examining your thyroid, the gland that controls your metabolism. It’s located in the front part of your neck.
Typically, the scan works with nuclear medicine to evaluate the way your thyroid functions. Nuclear medicine involves using small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose disease.
Radioactive iodine is typically used in thyroid tests, including a thyroid scan. Your thyroid and most types of thyroid cancer absorb iodine naturally. The radioactive iodine builds up in your thyroid tissue. A gamma camera or scanner detects the radioactive emissions.
Your doctor will use the results of this test to evaluate how your thyroid is functioning.

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 (RAIU) test with the scan to measure your thyroid’s 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 it’s 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 thyroid’s 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 (cysts), or other growths
  • inflammation or swelling
  • an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism
  • an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism
  • goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid
  • 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 you’re producing thyroid hormones.
A metastatic survey is a type of thyroid scan. It’s usually reserved for people with thyroid cancer. It can determine whether thyroid cancer has spread by detecting where the iodine is absorbed. The procedure is typically performed after thyroid surgery and ablation, or removal. It can identify pieces of the thyroid that remain after surgery.

Thyroid scan procedure

You’ll lie down on an examination table for a thyroid scan without RAIU. The technologist will tip your head back so that your neck is extended. They’ll then use a scanner or camera to take photos of your thyroid, usually from at least three different angles. You’ll be asked to stay very still while the images are taken. The process takes about 30 minutes.

What can a thyroid scan detect?

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.
Why would a doctor order a thyroid ultrasound?
A thyroid ultrasound may be ordered if a thyroid function test is abnormal or if you doctor feels a growth on your thyroid while examining your neck. An ultrasound can also check an underactive or overactive thyroid gland. You may receive a thyroid ultrasound as part of an overall physical exam.

Can you eat or drink before a thyroid uptake scan?

Please be sure not to eat or drink anything 2 hours prior to your first appointment .

What is a whole body thyroid scan?

A whole body thyroid scan looks to see if there is any residual thyroid tissue remaining after your thyroid has been surgically removed or if any abnormal thyroid tissue exists in other areas of your body.

Thyroid Scan test available at City Imaging and Clinical Labs -

Thyroid Scan 99m TC

What is Thyroid Scan 99m TC?

The 99m Tc Thyroid Scan test is performed to assess the functioning of thyroid gland. A radiotracer dye called Tc-99m pertechnetate is injected and its uptake by the thyroid gland is measured. Results of the 99m Tc Thyroid scan are assessed and interpreted with other biochemical and immunological studies. Abnormal results indicate hypo or hyperthyroidism, inflammations, or other health conditions like Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease, etc.

Why is Thyroid Scan 99m TC done?

  • To determine thyroid gland functioning and identify any dysfunction of the gland.
  • To help in the diagnosis of conditions like Hashimoto’s Disease, Grave’s Disease, thyroiditis, hypo or hyperthyroidism, etc.
  • To identify goiter (enlarged thyroid), cysts, nodules, or other abnormal growths of the thyroid
  • To assess thyroid nodules when the patient has hyperthyroidism.

Test Preparation

  • Pregnant women should inform their doctor (and x-ray technician) as the radiations may affect the fetus. If needed, precautions can be taken to lower the radiation exposure to the fetus.
  • Depending on the area to be imaged, you may be asked to wear a hospital gown at the time of the scan.