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I-123 MIBG Scan

An I-123 MIBG Scan looks at the function of tissues and organs that are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.  This test looks for certain types of neuroendocrine tumors. 


Your child can eat and drink as usual. IF your child needs to have General Anesthesia (be asleep) for the pictures, separate instructions will be provided.

  • An iodine solution or an iodine pill must be taken daily for 3 days.
  • Your child must take the first dose 1 day before their appointment.
  • This iodine protects the thyroid.

Your child’s physician will prescribe this pre-medication.

Further information for this study:

  • This test will take place over 2 days.
  • You will be with us for approximately 30 minutes on Day 1 and up to two hours on Day 2.
  • A parent or guardian may stay with the child.
  • Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.
  • Eating and drinking is not allowed in the room.

What to expect

Day 1

Your child will need Intravenous (IV) access for this procedure.  An IV is a needle that is inserted into a vein most often, in the arm or back of the hand.  A small amount of radioactive medicine will be given through the IV. This medicine mixes with the blood and will allow us to take pictures of your child’s insides. We will wait approximately 24 hours before we can take the pictures and will let you know what time to return the next day.

Day 2

Your child will lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will be placed across their body for safety and to help them stay still for the pictures taken using a special camera. Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted (for example, watch a movie). These pictures can take up to 2 hours to complete.

Post test

It is important to give your child extra fluids for the rest of the day to keep them hydrated and help the medicines leave the body quicker.  

The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test.  A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 2-3 business days. 

Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.

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