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Parathyroid scan: Instruction for patients

This leaflet provides information to patients undergoing a Sestamibi Parathyroid scan.

What is a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

A Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan is a diagnostic examination to determine the anatomy and function of your parathyroid glands. These are four small glands embedded in the back surface of the thyroid gland, situated in the neck.

How do I prepare for a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

  • No special preparation necessary prior to the scan. You may eat and drink as usual
  • It is important that you inform us if you are breast feeding or are (or think you could be) pregnant. This study may not be suitable for pregnant women
  • If you are taking thyroid medication, please inform us before the scan.
  • You will not be asked to change your clothes but will be requested to remove any jewellery around the neck prior to the scan.


What happens during a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

On the appointed date, initially a scan of your thyroid gland will be acquired 30 minutes after radio-isotope injection. After that, the scan of your parathyroid glands will be taken, 10 minutes and 2 hours after radio-isotope injection. You will be asked to remain still during scan acquisition. The duration of the first scan is 20 minutes. We may acquire a SPECT CT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) 3-dimensional scan also, during which the camera will rotate over a 360 degree arc around you, allowing for reconstruction of an image in three dimensions. This second scan will take approximately 45 minutes after which you can go home.

Are there any side effects of a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

There are no side effects of the injection. You will be able to drive, travel by public transport and return to work if necessary.

What are the risks of a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

There are no risks of having a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan.

What are the benefits of a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

The parathyroid scan will determine if you have hyperactive parathyroid glands.

Where is a Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan performed?

A Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan is only performed in the Nuclear Medicine Department, located on 2nd floor of the hospital. On arrival, please report to the Nuclear Medicine department.

Shall I bring my previous lab and radiology reports on the day of the scan?

Yes, you should bring your recent radiology (ultrasound, x-ray, CT scan etc) and laboratory (blood & urine test) reports on the day of the scan.

Who can accompany me for the scan?

We would prefer that you do not bring more than one person with you. Avoid bringing children or pregnant ladies with you.

When can I expect the results of my Sestamibi Parathyroid Scan?

You will receive the results at 5 PM on the day of your scan. The results of the scan will also be conveyed provisionally to your referring physician. The report will be accompanied with Scan films.


*If you have any further questions, Please feel free to contact the Nuclear Medicine Department, Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka on 011-41274257, 011-41274251 between 9 AM – 5 PM (Monday-Saturday).





Consultant and Head
Nuclear Medicine
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