Have a Thyroid Scan and Thyroid Uptake to See the Function and Structure of You Thyroid Gland  

Thyroid scan refers to the practice of nuclear medicine imaging technique for the treatment of thyroid problems, particularly hyperthyroidism. The radioactive iodine uptake test (RAIU) is also called as thyroid uptake. It is entirely different from radioactive iodine therapy (RAI therapy), in which physicians use higher doses to eliminate cancerous cells.

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medicine imaging where physician uses small amount of radioactive materials to diagnose many diseases including cancers, abnormalities, heart disease and others. Under the thyroid scan procedure, first you have to take 100-200 microcuries of radioactive iodine around four hours before the test. Then you will lie down on an examination table. Pictures will be taken by gamma camera and the radiation in your thyroid gland will be recorded. This probe will detect the change from normal in your thyroid gland. After the procedure there are no adverse effects and your body relieves itself of the compound as it does the food you eat.

The study resulting low uptake suggests thyroiditis, high uptake indicates Graves’ disease, and unevenness in uptake suggests the presence of a nodule. Thyroid scan test is not appropriate for those patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. This test provides enough information about the structure and function of the thyroid gland that controls metabolism, a chemical process that monitors the rate at which your body converts food into energy. The whole-body thyroid scan and thyroid uptake are typically performed on people who are suffering from thyroid cancer.  


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