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A thyroid scan (thyroid scintigraphy) is a nuclear medicine test that allows your child's doctor to determine the size, shape, function and position of her thyroid gland.
The Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging program at Children's is committed to providing a safe, comfortable and child-friendly atmosphere with:
A thyroid scan (thyroid scintigraphy) is a diagnostic nuclear medicine test that provides information about the structure and function of the thyroid. The nuclear medicine physician is able to see the size, shape, function, and position of the thyroid gland.
Your child will swallow a capsule or liquid containing a radiopharmaceutical called Iodine-123. Iodine-123 has a tiny amount of radioactive molecules in it.
A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the thyroid at four and 24 hours after the radiopharmaceutical has been ingested.
A thyroid scan can help assess:
Typically, imaging takes place at four and 24 hours after radiopharmaceutical administration, so please plan accordingly.
When you arrive, please go to the Nuclear Medicine check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital. A clinical intake coordinator will check in your child and verify her registration information.
A thyroid scan involves three steps: ingestion of the radiopharmaceutical, a waiting period and the thyroid scan.
Ingestion of the radiopharmaceutical:
The thyroid scan:
A thyroid scan picture:
Although the camera may appear large and intimidating, it does not touch your child.
We are committed to ensuring that your child receives the smallest radiation dose needed to obtain the desired result.
Once the scan is complete, the images will be evaluated for quality. If the scan is adequate, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.
One of the Boston Children's nuclear medicine physicians will review your child's images and create a report of the findings and diagnosis.
The nuclear medicine physician will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child's thyroid scan. Your child's doctor will then discuss the results with you.
Department of Radiology
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