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Nuclear Medicine


Nuclear Medicine

Pediatric Imaging - Nuclear Medicine

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a form of imaging imaging that uses radiopharmaceuticals in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.   
The most common pediatric procedures are bone, kidney and gastric (stomach) scans.

Gastric Emptying Scans

Before the Scan

Your child is to have an empty stomach. Follow the eating and drinking instructions given to you by the ordering physician.  If your child is an infant, then you will need to bring a bottle of the infant's formula.  If your child is able to drink from a cup, then the child can have juice or milk.  Please feel free to bring a special toy, book, blanket and/or pacifier that would help keep your child calm.        

During the Scan

Your child will drink one ounce of formula, milk or juice with the radiopharmaceutical mixed in it.  The radiopharmaceutical has no taste or odor.  The rest of the formula, milk or juice will be given to your child.  Your child will have 15 minutes to drink the fluid.  After you child has drank all of the fluid, then he or she will lie on a soft table and imaging will begin for approximately an hour.  If the ordering physician is looking for aspiration then you will return with your child 4 hours later for another image of the lungs. The child may eat after the hour unless otherwise instructed by nuclear medicine personnel. 

After the Scan

Your child may return to his/her daily activities and meals.  Results of the scan should be available to the ordering physician in 24 hours.

Bone Scans

Before the Scan

If your child is 10 years old or younger then he/she will be sent to the pediatric unit in the hospital to have an IV placed for an injection.  Please feel free to bring a special toy, book, blanket and/or pacifier that would help keep your child calm.

During the Scan

After your child receives the injection, you will be instructed to bring them back 2-3 hours later for more pictures.  Parentswill be given instructions on food/drink for this time.  Once you are back to take more pictures, your child will be asked to lie quietly on a soft table.

After the Scan

Your child may return to his/her daily activities and meals.  Results of this scan should be available to the ordering physician in 24 hours.

Renal Scan with Lasix

Before the Scan

If your child is 10 years old or younger then he/she will be sent to the pediatric unit in the hospital to get an IV and catheter placed.  Please feel free to bring a special toy, book, blanket and/or pacifier that would help keep your child calm.        

During the Scan

Your child will receive an injection while lying on a soft table and imaging will take place.  At 20 minutes into the scan your child will be given a medicine called Lasix through the same IV line.  For the next 20 minutes, more pictures will be taken.  Some children may not need the Lasix to finish the test.  If your child is unable to lie still, our technologists will assist your child in holding still.  Parents are encouraged to stay with their child during the test.

After the Scan  

The IV and catheter will be removed unless your child has another procedure done in radiology that also warrants a catheter and/or IV.  Do not be alarmed if your child's urine is pink the first time he/she urinates.  If this happens more than once or your child is having trouble urinating, call your child's doctor.  Results of this scan should be available to ordering physician in 24 hours. 

 

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