A thyroid scan is an organized imaging process for inspecting your thyroid gland that controls your metabolism. It’s located in the front part of your neck.
Commonly, the test works with nuclear medicine to assess the manner your thyroid functions. Nuclear remedy includes small quantities of radioactive material to diagnose disease.
Radioactive iodine is generally used in thyroid exams, along with a thyroid scan. Your thyroid and most styles of thyroid most cancers soak up iodine naturally. The radioactive iodine builds up for your thyroid tissue. A gamma camera or scanner detects radioactive emissions.
Your doctor will use the outcomes of this check to evaluate how your thyroid is functioning.
What does a thyroid scan do?
- A thyroid scan can offer statistics on the size and form of the gland as well as over the activity of the gland (is the whole thyroid gland overactive or under-active).
- as an example, thyroid scanning is used to decide how active is thyroid tissue is in the production of thyroid hormone. This feature can determine the inflammation of the thyroid gland is present. It may also locate the presence and degree of overactivity of the gland (hyperthyroidism ).
- The furor over, a thyroid scan can provide facts on unique areas of the thyroid gland and may help to decide any localized regions are hyperfunctioning or below functioning in comparison to the gland.
- Thyroid scanning is mainly useful in evaluating thyroid nodules, especially after a nice needle aspiration biopsy has failed to offer a prognosis. A scan will display a thyroid nodule is “operative” or “non-functioning”.
- Doctors refer to hyperfunctioning nodules of the thyroid as “warm” nodules, and those hyperfunctioning areas are seen on the image of the thyroid gland. A nonfunctioning nodule does not take in iodine and produces a localized “bloodless” area on the picture of the thyroid gland.
- In, thyroid scanning can be done to assist decide if thyroid cancer has spread beyond the thyroid in the neck. For this cause, usually, a whole-body thyroid experiment is executed.
Thyroid scan technique
Thyroid scans are generally performed on an outpatient foundation inside the nuclear medicinal drug branch of a hospital. They can be administered by a nuclear medicinal drug technologist.
Before any thyroid experiment, you’ll get hold of radionuclide in the form of a tablet, liquid, or injection. While you’ve waited with the vital quantity of time for radioactive iodine to be absorbed, you’ll go back to the nuclear medicine department.
An RAIU is carried out 6 to 24 hours after taking the radionuclide. You’ll sit down upright in a chair for this take a look at. The technologist will vicinity a probe over your thyroid gland, where it’ll degree the radioactivity gift. This check takes numerous minutes.
You’ll go back to the nuclear medication branch to have the set of readings taken 24 hours after the primary take a look at. This allows your doctor to determine if thyroid hormone is produced among the checks.
Metastatic survey procedure
You’ll obtain radioiodine in tablet form for a metastatic survey. You’ll need to wait from two to seven days to allow the iodine for the complete body.
You’ll lie down on an exam table. Scans of your frame might be taken from the front and the back at the same time as you lie very nevertheless. This will be uncomfortable for a few people.
Recuperation from a thyroid scan
After your thyroid experiment, you should contact your health practitioner for instructions on a way to resume taking your thyroid remedy.
The radioactive iodine in your body is handed while you urinate. You may be counseled to drink greater fluids and empty your bladder often to flush out the radionuclide. You may need to be careful to defend others from capacity publicity to the material. To try this, your doctor might also recommend you to flush twice after for up to 48 hours after the test.
You could normally resume your ordinary food plan and activities at once after any thyroid experiment.
What happens while the thyroid scan?
Injection of a radiopharmaceutical called sodium pertechnetate will be given to you. This could concentrate the thyroid gland. After the injection, you may have a 15 to 20-minute wait earlier than having the scan to permit the radiopharmaceutical to be taken up by using the thyroid gland.
When you have the thyroid experiment, you will be mendacity down on a bed and the digital camera will be located very near over your head, but will now not contact you. Several pix are taken, lasting approximately 5 mins every, and digicam can also flow barely this time. It’s far essential you lie very nonetheless and strive no longer to swallow in this time, as motion will blur the pics.
A nuclear medication specialist (a specialist physician) may additionally need to examine your neck, to sense for any thyroid nodules or gland expansion.
How long does a thyroid scan take?
The scan will take approximately 40 mins in overall. You will want to wait 15–20 mins after the injection, and then there might be 15 minutes of scanning time. A document could be despatched on your referring medical doctor.
Implications of a thyroid scan:
The thyroid facilitates preserve many exclusive features of the body using processing and adjusting the stages of sure hormones. A thyroid scan is finished so doctors can decide which elements of the thyroid gland are running well and which thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). It can also assist in distinguishing between benign and malignant thyroid nodules. A thyroid test additionally offers a few data about the scale and shape of the thyroid gland.
Who does the thyroid experiment?
A nuclear medicine technologist will deliver the injection of the radiopharmaceutical, carry out the scan, and manner the images. A nuclear medicinal drug expert health practitioner will evaluate and interpret the images with your scientific records and offer a report to your referring doctor.
Dangers of a thyroid scan
There’s a small but secure quantity of radiation contained in the radionuclide utilized in any thyroid test. Your radiation exposure could be a minimum and the ideal stage for diagnostic checks. There aren’t any known lengthy-term complications of getting a nuclear medication system.
Allergic reactions to the radionuclide material are extraordinarily rare. The effects are slight they arise. You could enjoy slight pain and redness on the injection website for a short time in case you receive an injection of the radionuclide.
Radiation publicity is the minimal and short period, thyroid scans aren’t recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding girls. Your physician may additionally advise which you keep away from turning into pregnant an infant for six months after the test if you’ve had a metastatic experiment.
Making ready for a thyroid scan
Inform your medical doctor about any prescription or medications you’re taking. Speak how they have to be used earlier than and for the test.
You may discontinue thyroid remedies from four to six weeks earlier than your experiment. A few heart medicinal drugs and any medication containing iodine additionally might also require changes.
For any thyroid scan, you will be requested to keep away from certain foods that contain iodine for about a week earlier than your technique. Generally, you shouldn’t devour:
- dairy products
- iodized salt
- seasonings that contain iodized salt
You also should refrain from the:
- cough syrups
- dietary supplements containing iodine
- Outcomes of a thyroid scan
A health practitioner who makes a specialty in nuclear imaging will examine the photographs and results of your thyroid test. Your results will be despatched in a report to your physician.
Thyroid scan results
A regular thyroid experiment might show no abnormalities in the size, shape, and location of the thyroid gland. Your thyroid can have a fair inexperienced color on the image. Purple spots in the photograph imply typical growths inside the thyroid. Regular effects from a metastatic scan suggest a scarcity of thyroid tissue and no unfold of thyroid cancer.
An ordinary thyroid scan may additionally show a thyroid that’s enlarged or out of function, indicating a possible tumor. Unusual measurements also may additionally display that your thyroid gland amassed too much or too little of the radionuclide.
Uncommon effects of a thyroid scan can also suggest:
- colloid nodular goiter, that’s a sort of thyroid expansion due to too little iodine
- Graves’ sickness, that’s a form of hyperthyroidism
- painless thyroiditis, that can involve switching among hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
- poisonous nodular goiter, which is an enlargement of a nodule on an existing goiter
Metastatic survey results
Atypical outcomes from a metastatic survey will display that are locations in which the thyroid most cancers has spread. The study will also show which residual thyroid tissue stays after surgical removal or ablation, which destroys the gland.