What is it?
A Parathyroid scan is a test to identify and localise overactive parathyroid gland(s).
What do I need to do before the procedure?
Make sure you remember to bring any previous films or reports to the appointment. Wear warm comfortable clothing. You will also need to:
- Medications - take your medications as normal
- Advise of pregnancy or breastfeeding - let the service know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
What will happen?
A small injection of a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in the arm. After 15 minutes, pictures are taken with a special camera. These pictures will take about one hour, during which time you must lie still and breathe normally. You will then be asked to wait one hour and then further pictures will be taken.
For some patients, further pictures will be taken two hour later. You will then be given a second injection of tracer and further pictures taken about 15 minutes later. This is to show the thyroid gland to better identify the parathyroid glands which lie right next to the thyroid gland, and may be very small.
What can I expect after?
There are no after-effects from having a parathyroid scan. The small dose of radiation in the injection is about the same as you would get from a chest X-ray.
Once it is finished, you can go home. You are able to drive immediately after the test. Your results will be sent to your GP or specialist.
Adapted from Liverpool Hospital Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET