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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Radionuclide thyroid scan

A radionuclide thyroid scan assesses the structure of your thyroid gland and looks at how well it is working.

A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into one of your veins, which is then taken up by your thyroid. A special camera called a gamma camera is then used to give a picture of the radioactive material in your thyroid gland.

The dose of radiation is about the same or less than the amount from having an X-ray and is quickly removed from your body. Side effects are rare.

Tell your doctor or phone the department first if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Usually, specialists will avoid a radionuclide scan in those cases. Also tell them if you are breastfeeding in case you need special instructions, as some radioactive material can be excreted in breast milk.

If you need a radionuclide thyroid scan, it will be done at Christchurch Hospital Molecular imaging and Therapy.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2022. Last updated November 2023.

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