Nuclear Radiology Procedures

PET/CT Scan

What is a PET/CT Scan?

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan may image the whole body or a specific region of interest such as the brain. The scan is typically done following the injection of a radiopharmaceutical similar to glucose (FDG), which finds regions of increased metabolism. PET scans can help in the diagnosis of cancer, infections, inflammation, and neurologic conditions among others.

We also offer Gallium-68 (Dotatate) PET scans which aid in the diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors.

Our scanner combines both digital PET and CT images to allow for precise anatomic localization of the PET findings.

Preparation for the exam

Eating restrictions: Nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to exam.  The only exception is water.

For FDG studies, your child’s blood sugar will be checked prior to the exam. If the levels are less than 60 mg/dl or above 150 mg/dl, we may have to delay or cancel the exam.

For FDG studies, the patient should avoid strenuous or excessive exercise 48 hours prior to the appointment.

Sedation

Most children 7 and under are sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

Following injection of the radiopharmaceutical, the patient will relax in a room for approximately 60 minutes while the radiopharmaceutical is absorbed by the body.

After the absorbed period, your child will be asked to emptying their bladder prior to imaging.

The scan will take approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the radiopharmaceutical used and the areas to be imaged. Studies being performed for epilepsy will take approximately 20 minutes.

Bone Scan

What is a Bone Scan?

A bone scan images the skeletal system.  It can help diagnose a number of bone conditions, including cancer of the bone or metastasis, location of bone inflammation and fractures, and bone infection.

Preparation for the exam

Eating restrictions: No eating restrictions required unless sedation is scheduled.

Sedation

Most children 5 and under are sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

Occasionally images are acquired during tracer injection. In this case, the patient will lay on the table for approximately 15-20 minutes when images are acquired. Subsequently, the patient can leave the exam area and will come back 2-3 hours later for additional imaging.

If no images are acquired during injection, the patient may leave the department and return in approximately 2-3 hours for further imaging.

When the patient returns, images take 45-60 minutes.

Gastric Emptying (4 Hour)

What is a 4-hour Gastric Emptying scan?

Images will determine how fast food leaves the stomach.  It may help explain why a child is spitting up, refusing to eat, or experiencing pain.

Preparation for the exam

Eating restrictions: Do not eat solid food for 6 hours and no liquids 4 hours prior to exam.

Must be 6 years old and be able to eat 2 scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of toast with jam, and 4 oz of water within 10 minutes.

Sedation

Not available for this exam.

During the Exam

The patient will eat a standard meal of 2 scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of toast with jam, and 4 oz of water within 10 minutes.

The exam takes a total of 4 hours and consist of a 1 minute image every hour. 

Between images, the patient may leave the department. 

Gastric Emptying (Liquid or Solid)

What is a liquid or solid Gastric Emptying scan?

Images will determine how fast food leaves the stomach.  It may help explain why a child is spitting up, refusing to eat, or experiencing pain.

Preparation for the exam

Eating restrictions: Do not eat solid food for 6 hours and no liquids 4 hours prior to exam.

If your child has special feeding equipment, please bring it with you.

If your child needs a special type of formula, please bring it with you.

Sedation

Not available for this exam

During the Exam

The exam takes 90 minutes and begins after your child ingests the meal. 

The meal can consist of eggs, oatmeal, formula, milk, or PediaSure. 

DMSA Scan

What is a DMSA scan?

Images give detailed pictures and the function of the kidneys.  It can help detect scarring in the kidneys caused by frequent infections.

Preparation for the exam

Eating restrictions: No eating restrictions required unless sedation is scheduled.

Sedation

Most patients are not sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

After the injection the patient can leave the department and will be asked to return in 2-3 hours for images.

Images will take 30 minutes.

HIDA Scan

What is a HIDA scan?

Images evaluate the function of the liver, gallbladder, and biliary system.  This exam can be used to evaluate biliary dyskinesia, cholecystitis, biliary atresia, and bile leakage.

Preparation for the exam

Eating restrictions: Do not eat solid food for 6 hours and no liquids 4 hours prior to exam.

No prescription pain medications for 6 hours prior to the exam as these can alter the results of the study.

Sedation

Sedation may alter the results and is not available for this exam.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

Images will take 60 minutes and begin immediately after injection.

If evaluation of gallbladder function is needed then a second hour of imaging is performed following ingestion of a fatty meal or CCK (cholecystokinin) IV injection.

Additional 4 hour delayed images may be needed in some instances and 24 hour images may be needed if evaluating for biliary atresia

Renal Scan with Lasix Mag3

What is a Renal Scan with Lasix Mag3?

This exam is used to evaluate the kidneys and their function.  It can evaluate UPJ obstructions and hydronephrosis.

Preparation for this exam

Eating restrictions: No eating restrictions required unless sedation is scheduled.

Sedation

Most patients are not sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

If patient is under 24 months, they will need a catheter.

Images will take 45 minutes and begin immediately after injection. Renal Diuretic will be given after 20 minutes of imaging.

Thyroid Scan and Uptake

What is a Thyroid Scan and Uptake?

These images will examine the thyroid gland.  This test can be used to evaluate hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Preparation for this exam

This is a two day study. 

Eating restrictions: Do not eat anything 2 hours prior to your appointment on Day 1. On Day 2 there are no eating restrictions.

The patient should not receive CT IV contrast agents for eight weeks prior to the scan (CT IV contrast contains a lot of iodine, which can interfere with the test.). MRI contrast agents do not affect the study. 

If your child is on medications for hyperthyroidism (e.g. methimazole) they may need to discontinue this prior to the uptake scan, please contact your ordering physician for further instructions.

Sedation

Most patients are not sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Day 1 the patient will take the radiopharmaceutical orally and return 4 hours later for images.  Day 2 the patient will return for additional images.  Each imaging session will take 30 minutes.

Meckel’s Diverticulum Scan

What is a Meckel’s Diverticulum Scan?

Imaging is used to detect a Meckel’s diverticulum.  This test can assist in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain or occult gastrointestinal bleeding.

Preparation for this exam

Eating restrictions: Do not eat solid food for 6 hours and no liquids 4 hours prior to exam.

Your child should not receive oral barium (a radiographic contrast agent) 48 hours prior to the test

Sedation

Most patients are not sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

We will administer a Histamine H2 blocker to enhance the sensitivity of the Meckel’s diverticulum and wait 60 minutes prior to injecting the radiopharmaceutical. The images subsequently take an additional 70 minutes following injection. 

I-123 MIBG Scan

What is an I-123 MIBG Scan?

Images are used for localization of known or suspected neuroendocrine tumors, such as neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma. 

Preparation for this exam

This is a two day study. 

Eating Restrictions: No eating restrictions required unless sedation is scheduled.

Sedation

Most children 6 and under are sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get an IV placed by a technologist or nurse.

This is a 2 day exam.  Day 1 your child will receive SSKI drops under the tongue and then get the injection of the radiopharmaceutical. Day 2 will be the scan.

Images will take 90 minutes.

Radionuclide Cystogram (Nuclear VCUG)

What is a Radionuclide Cystogram?

This is a set of images that examine the bladder and ureters by filling the bladder with a radioactive saline.  It is used to help diagnose urinary reflux.

Preparation for this exam

Eating Restrictions: No eating restrictions required unless sedation is scheduled.

Sedation

Most patients are not sedated for this procedure. If you think that your child needs to be sedated please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Patient will get a urinary catheter.

The bladder is filled with a mix of saline and radiopharmaceutical while images are acquired. The bladder may be filled and emptied multiple times.

Images will take approximately 30-60 minutes.

Lymphoscintigraphy

What is a Lymphoscintigraphy?

Images of the lymphatic system.  This exam can is typically done to find a sentinel node for surgical biopsy or to evaluate lymphedema.

Preparation for this exam

Eating Restrictions: No eating restrictions required unless sedation is scheduled.

Sedation

Children under 10 are typically sedated for the injection.  If you think that your child needs to be sedated, please inform your physician.

During the Exam

Injections can be given two ways depending on the indication of the exam.  For lymphedema evaluation, we will give 4 injections between the webbing of the toes or hands depending on which extremities are being evaluated. For sentinel node localization, we will give 4 injections around the tumor. 

Images are acquired immediately after injection with additional imaging occurring 45 minutes and 2 hours following injection. You will be able to leave the department after the 45 minute images and be asked to return before the 2 hour images.