Thyroid Uptake and Scan
(Thyroid Scintiscan; Technetium Thyroid Scan)
Reasons for Test
- Determine the cause of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Test how well the thyroid is working
- Determine if a thyroid nodule is functioning (if it is making thyroid hormone)
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- Have an allergy to medicine or food (including iodine or shellfish)
- Are (or might be) pregnant or breastfeeding—the test could expose the baby to radiation
- Take any medicines on a regular basis—some can interfere with test results
- If you recently had any CAT scans, cardiac catheterizations, or other imaging tests that use contrast dye
What to Expect
Prior to Test
- You may be asked to avoid certain food (containing iodine) or thyroid medicine before the scan. Some can interfere with the results.
- Jewelry, dentures, and other metallic objects will be removed.
- You may be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight.
- Your doctor may order some tests to measure the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood.
Description of Test
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
American Thyroid Association, Inc. http://www.thyroid.org
Thyroid Foundation of America, Inc. http://www.allthyroid.org
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
The Thyroid Foundation of Canada http://www.thyroid.ca
Beers MH, Fletcher AJ, et al. The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Second Home Edition. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 2003.
Diagnostic tests: thyroid scan. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide website. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/thyroid-scan.htm. Accessed August 2005.
Thyroid-Cancer.net: what is a thyroid scan? Johns Hopkins Thyroid Tumor Center website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/endocrine/graves/Answer.asp%3FQuestionID%3D14. Accessed August 24, 2005.
Thyroid nodule. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Accessed August 24, 2005.
Thyroid nodules: symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment. American Thyroid Association website. Available at: http://www.thyroid.org/what-are-thyroid-nodules. Accessed August 24, 2005.
Thyroid nuclear medicine scan. Dr. Joseph F Smith Medical Library website. Available at: www.chclibrary.org/micromed/00068040.html. Accessed August 24, 2005.
Thyroid scan and uptake. RadiologyInfo.org website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=thyroiduptake. Updated February 2010. Accessed November 19, 2010.
- Reviewer: Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH
- Review Date: 12/2011 -
- Update Date: 12/30/2011 -