Radioactive iodine scan (RAI)

Purpose of a RAI Scan:

  • It is a procedure to find areas in the body where thyroid cancer cells may be dividing quickly.

What is a RAI Scan?:

  • Radioactive iodine (RAI) is used because only thyroid cells take up iodine.
  • A very small amount of RAI is swallowed.
  • It travels through the blood, and collects in thyroid tissue and thyroid cancer cells anywhere in the body.
  • Abnormal thyroid cells take up less iodine than normal thyroid tissue.
  • Areas that do not absorb the iodine normally (cold spots) show up lighter in the picture made by the scan.
  • Cold spots can be either benign (not cancer) or malignant , so a biopsy is done to find out if they are cancer.

Please follow the link for the instructions of How to prepare for your RAI scan.

 

Department of Nuclear Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara

Clinicians from the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara

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