Overview

What to Expect

What to Expect

You will probably not need to change out of your street clothes. Once in the scanning room, you will lie flat on a table that slides into the scanner. During the procedure, the scanner will come close to you. It is important that you lie still. The technologists will be in constant contact with the you throughout the procedure.

While the average scanning time is about 45 minutes, total time spent at the hospital will vary depending on the specific procedure and preparations.

Preparing For Different Types of Nuclear Medicine Tests

3 Phase Bone Scan

Procedure: Patient is injected and scanned at arrival time and returns three hours later for an hour-long scan.
Duration: 60 minutes
Preparation: No preparation

Bone Scan Flow

Procedure: Exams are for extremity issues or for a particular place of interest such as the hip, knee, arm, or rib.
Duration: Approximately 30 minute scan, then return three hours later for another 60 minute scan.
Preparation: No preparation.

Bone Scan Spect

Procedure & Duration: Patient is injected with isotope and scanned for approximately 30 minutes and returns three hours later for another 60 minute scan.
Preparation: No preparation

Brain Imaging

Procedure & Duration: Patient has IV put in and rests for 20 minutes in a quiet room. The tracer is injected and pictures are taken. If a brain spect, the procedure takes two days. The first day is with Diamox for two hours and the second day without Diamox for an hour.
Preparation: No preparation

Cisternogram (CSF) - Hydrocephalus

Procedure & Duration: Patient arrives for both a lumbar puncture and isotope injection, followed by an immediate five minute scan. Four to six hours later, patient receives a scan that lasts one hour. The patient comes back in 24 hours after injection for another one-hour scan.
Preparation: No preparation

Cisternogram (CSF) - Rhinorrhea

Procedure & Duration: Patient arrives and receives lumbar puncture and isotope inject. Patient is brought immediately to nuclear medicine for a five minute scan.
Pledgets (cotton rolls) are inserted into patients nostrils by ENT right after scan. Patient returns to nuclear medicine four to six hours later for one hour of imaging. Pledgets are then removed.
Patient returns again to nuclear medicine for another one hour scan.
Preparation: No preparation.

DMSA – Renal Scan

Procedure: Patient is injected with isotope and comes back four hours later to be scanned.
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Preparation: No preparation

Gastric Emptying Scan

Procedure: Patient eats a isotope labeled meal of eggs whites and Toast with 4 oz of water. Imaging is done at 0, 30, 60 , 120, 180 and 240 minutes for 1 minute at each time point.
Duration: 4-4.5 hrs
Preparation: No eating or drink for six hours before

GFR (Kidney Test)

Procedure & Duration: Patient is injected with isotope and comes in at scheduled time. Patient receives two-minute scan and comes back one hour later for blood draw. Patient comes in two hours later for another blood draw.
Preparation: No preparation

HIDA Scan

Procedure: Patient is injected with isotope after arrival and put on camera. The patient is injected with CCK half way through test to help gallbladder work so it can be scanned.
Duration: Approximately two hours
Preparation: No food or drink six hours prior to appointment. No pain medications or narcotics of any kind six hours before procedure.

H-Pylori Breath Study

Procedure: Patient takes capsule then blows into a balloon 10 minutes later. The patient blows into the balloon again after five more minutes.
Duration: Exam takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes (no camera time).
Preparation: No food or liquids (not even water) for six hours. No antacids (Maalox, Tums, amphogeal, Rolaids, and the like), H2 blockers (Tagament, Zantac, Axid, Pepsid) for 24 hours. No proton pump inhibitors (Priolosec Prevacid) and sucralfate (Carafete) for two weeks. No antibiotics or Pepto Bismol (except sulfa drugs) for one month.

Leukocyte or White Blood Cell Scan

Procedure & Duration: Patient comes in for a blood draw. Patient comes back four hours later and blood is re-injected with tagged blood cells. After reinjection, 18–24 hours later, patient comes back for a two-hour scan.
Preparation: No preparation.

Lymphoscintigraphy

Procedure: Patient is injected four times around site of interest and then imaged to watch for draining.
Duration: As little as 30 minutes to as long at one day depending on patient’s lymph node system.
Preparation: No preparation. Scan usually takes place the day before surgery to remove lymph node.

Meckel’s Diverticulum

Procedure and Duration: Patient is injected with isotope. Patient is then scanned every 10 minutes for two hours.
Preparation: Do not eat or drink for six hours previous

MIBG

Procedure & Duration: Patient is injected with isotope and comes back the next day for a two-hour scan.
Preparation: All patients should receive SSKI or Lugol’s solution (one drop in juice or water three times per day) beginning two days before and continuing for six days after I-123 MIBG administration. This prescription should be given by the referring physician.

Patients should plan on being available for three successive days, if necessary (day of injection, and following two days). There is no restriction on eating or drinking for any of the appointments, and good hydration is encouraged.

The patient is strongly encouraged to bring the actual images for any relevant correlative imaging studies that have been done, particularly CT or MRI of the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis.

Drugs: These medications interfere with uptake of MIBG and should be stopped, if possible. If there is a question about specific drugs, call 801-581-2370 (nuclear medicine, University of Utah Hospital).

Drugs Mechanism of interference (known or expected) Suggested withdrawal prior to MIBG scintigraphy
Opioids narcodics Uptake inhibition 7-14
Tricyclic antidepressants: Amitriptyline and derivates: such as imipramine and derivates, amoxapine, loxapine, doxepine Uptake of granules 7-14 days
Sympathicomimetics*: Phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, phenilephrine, amphetamine, dopamine, isoproterenol, salbutamol, terbutaline, phenoterol, xylometazoline Depletion of granules 7-14 days
Antihypertensive/cardiovascular agents:
Amiodarone Inhibition uptake and depletion 21 days
Beta agonists: such as labetalol, metoprolol, propranol, atenolol, Inhibition uptake and depletion 21 days
Reserpine Depletion and transport inhibition 14 days
Bretylium, guanethidine Depletion and transport inhibition 14 days
Calcium channel blockers: nifedpidine, nicardipine, amlodipine Increased uptake and retention 14 days
ACE inhibitors: captopril, enalapril, etc. Increased uptake and retention 14 days
Antipsychotics:
Phenothiazines (chlorpromiazine, promethazine, fluphenazine, others) Uptake inhibition 21-28 days
Thioxanthenes (maprotiline, trazolone) Uptake inhibition 21-28 days
Butyrophenones (droperidol, haloperidol) Uptake inhibition 21-28 days
Alpha agonists: Alpha agonists
Phentolamine, tolazoline, phenoxybenzamine, yohimbine Uptake inhibition 3 days
Prazosin Uptake inhibition 1 day

MUGA

Procedure: Patient arrives for isotope injection. Blood is drawn and patient waits for 30 minutes while radiation tracer kit is made. The blood is injected with the tracer and the patient is scanned for approximately 30 minutes.
Duration: Approximately one and a half hours
Preparation: No preparation

Octreotides

Procedure and Duration:

Day 1: Patient is injected.
Day 2: 24 hours from initial injection, scanned for two hours.
Day 3: If needed, another one to one and a half hour scan.

Duration: Two to three days
Preparation: No preparation for first day. Bowel prep kit for the second day.

Prostacint Study

Procedure & Duration:

Visit 1: Patient is injected with isotope.

Visit 2: Four days later, the patient is scanned (two to three hours)

Preparation: Bowel prep kit given by technologist on day one to prepare for day two

Parathyroids

Procedure: Patient is injected with isotope and scanned.
Duration: Approximately five hours
Preparation: No preparation

Renal Scan

Procedure: Patient is injected with isotope and scanned.
Duration: Approximately one hour
Preparation: Patient is to drink a lot of water.

Sentinel Lymph Node

Procedure: Patient is injected with isotope in breast of interest by ordering physician.
Preparation: No preparation

Stress Test

Procedure: Patient is injected with isotope and waits 45–60 minutes. Patient is scanned for 20 minutes and then participates in designated stress test in cardiology. A second isotope is injected during stress before waiting another 45–60 minutes. Patient comes back to nuclear medicine and scanned for another 20 minutes.
Duration: Approximately two and a half hours
Preparation: No food or drink for six hours before procedure. No caffeine for six hours (including chocolate, de-caffeinated drinks, or medications, such as Aspirin). Additionally no beta blockers for treadmills and dobutamines for 24 hours preceding procedure.

Thyroid Scans

Please call to discuss.

Viability With Stress

Procedure & Duration: An IV is placed, and then the patient goes to cardiology for a stress test. Once complete, the patient comes back to nuclear medicine and is scanned immediately, then four hours later, and 24 hours later.
Preparation: No food or drink six hours previous. No caffeine for six hours (including chocolate, de-caffeinated drinks, or medications, such as Aspirin). Additionally no beta blockers for treadmills and dobutamines for 24 hours preceding procedure.

Viability Without Stress

Procedure & Duration: Patient is injected and imaged immediately and again four hours later.
Preparation: No preparation.

VQ

Procedure: Patient lies down on scan table and breathes in scanning substance, Xennon. Patient breathes in for roughly one minute and is scanned.
Duration: Approximately one and a half hours.
Preparation: Patient is asked to get a two-view chest x-ray 24 hours before their VQ scan.

Whole-Body Bone Scan

Procedure: Patient receives injection of isotope then returns approximately 3hrs later for 60 min scan.
Preparation: None