Thyroid Uptake and Scan

This procedure shows the size and shape of the thyroid and how well the thyroid gland is functioning.


  • The procedure is done over a two day period.
  • This test will help determine both the anatomy and physiology of the thyroid gland.
  • The technologist will first obtain some of your medical history and review your medications.
  • During this two day period, you will be given a small injection of a radiotracer in a vein of the arm. The physician will be able to see your anatomy, which is the size, shape, and location of the gland.
  • After the injection and a brief wait, we will take images of the thyroid using a special camera.
  • Physiology will help us determine the function of the thyroid gland to see how it is working. For this portion of the exam, you will be asked to swallow a pill which contains a small amount of radioactive material. The technologist will ask you to return to the department to take measurements of the thyroid gland using a special piece of equipment.

After the procedure

  • Follow up with ordering doctor.


  • Please bring a prescription if your doctor has given one to you.
  • Bring a list of your current medications.
  • Certain medications and procedures will cause this test to give false results. Please contact the hospital/clinic where your test is scheduled for specific instructions.
  • Nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the study.
  • Stop taking thyroid medication (e.g. Synthroid or Levothyroxine) for 4 weeks prior to the exam.
  • Stop taking multivitamins containing Iodine (e.g. One a Day, Centrum) for 6 weeks prior to the exam. Please check the list of ingredients to confirm whether your specific multivitamins contain Iodine.


  • Tell the technologist if you are planning to travel out of the country.
  • If you are pregnant or suspect you may be, contact your referring doctor.
  • This is a two-day exam.
  • For Macomb patients: Please note that our Nuclear Medicine equipment has a table weight limit of 400 lbs.
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