Exam Preparation, Nuclear Medicine

This is a diagnostic examination that uses a temporarily radioactive substance administered intravenously or orally. The energy emitted by this substance is detected and analyzed to create images of the body. In general, patients are exposed to minimal radiation.

Bone scan

Instructions: You must come back for more imaging 2 to 4 hours after the injection. You must drink a few glasses of water between the two parts of the examination.

Duration: 30 minutes

Myocardial perfusion

Instructions: You must fast for 4 hours before the examination. You must not smoke, chew Nicorette gum or wear a patch 2 hours before to the examination. You must not drink coffee, tea, chocolate or take medication containing caffeine 12 hours before the examination. Do not stop nitroglycerin spray and Plavix. Depending on your physician’s order, you may be asked to stop your medications for a period of time. Bring comfortable exercise clothes.

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Captopril renal scan

Instructions: You must start fasting at midnight. You must drink half a litre of water 1 hour before the examination (you can empty your bladder, but you must be well hydrated). Depending on your physician’s order, you may be asked to stop your medications for a period of time.

Renal or Lasix scan

Instructions: You must drink half a litre of water 1 hour before the examination, but you can empty your bladder.

Duration: 1 hour

Renal scan with DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid)

Instructions: No preparation necessary. However, an injection is given during the test and you must come back 3 hours after the injection.

Duration: 30 minutes

Pulmonary scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary.

Duration: 1 hour and a half 

Thyroid scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary. Depending on your physician’s order, your may be asked to stop your medications for a period of time.

Duration: 1 hour

Gallium scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary. You must come back 2 days after your appointment.

Duration: 30 minutes

Liver-spleen scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary. A radioactive substance is injected.

Duration: 1 hour

Red blood cell liver scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary, but you must come back 3 hours after the injection.

Duration: 1 hour

Hepatobiliary scan

Instructions: You must fast for 4 hours before the examination. If you are given morphine, you will not be able to drive for 6 hours after the examination.

Duration: between 1 hour and a half and 4 hours.

Meckel’s diverticulum study

Instructions: You must start fasting at midnight, the night before your examination.

Duration: 1 hour

Multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary.

Duration:  1 hour and a half

Parathyroid scan

Instructions: No preparation necessary.

Duration: 3 hours

Gastric emptying study

Instructions: You must start fasting at midnight, the night before the examination, and bring a list of your medications. You must inform the technician if you are allergic to eggs or gluten. If you are diabetic, you must bring your insulin.

Duration: 1 hour and a half