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HF 7010

Parathyroid Scan in Nuclear Medicine

You are scheduled to have a nuclear medicine study on: ______________ at: ________ am/pm.


◻ UW Hospital

600 Highland Ave 

Madison, WI 53791

Take the Atrium elevators to 3rd floor Check in at the G3/3 reception desk

◻ The American Center 

4602 Eastpark Blvd 

Madison, WI 53718

What is a parathyroid scan?

The parathyroid scan is a test that studies the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The purpose of this test is to find out which of the 4 parathyroid glands may be hyperactive before surgery to remove it.

You will have an IV placed in your arm. A radioactive substance will be put in the IV. You may be asked to swallow a small capsule with a radioactive substance. This will help show the abnormal parathyroid gland. We will take pictures of your chest and neck. Your head will be tilted back slightly to keep your chin out of the picture. Your doctor will share the test results with you.

We inject a small amount of radioactive substance through the IV. After 15 minutes, we take pictures of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. After 45 minutes, another set of pictures is taken. 

The camera rotates around you for these pictures and will take 35 minutes. The camera is close to you but does not make direct contact with you. It may brush up against your shirt sleeves. 

How do I prepare for this test?

Please tell your doctor if you are pregnant. This test should only be done under special conditions if you are pregnant or breast feeding. There is nothing else you need to do to prepare for this test. You do not need a driver. You may follow your normal diet.

How will I feel after the test? 

The test is painless, except for the minor discomfort of having an IV placed.  

What are the risks?

Many people worry when they hear that the substances used in this test are slightly radioactive. The amount used in this test is so small that there should be no side effects and is not harmful to your kidneys. Again, it should be noted that this test should only be done under special conditions if you are pregnant or breast feeding. 

Who to Call

Any questions before the test call:

UWHC Radiology

Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

608-263-9729 

Toll-Free: 1-800-323-8942 

Ask for Radiology.