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Meckel's Scan

A Meckel’s Scan is done if your child has blood in their stools (when they go to the bathroom).  A Meckel's diverticulum is a bulge in the lower part of the bowel (intestine). The bulge is present at birth, though often isn’t found until your child experiences pain or when it causes blood to be seen in the stools.


Your child will be required to fast (no food or drink) before the test. This includes ALL solids and liquids. Please refer to the following guidelines:

  • For babies up to 1 year: nothing to eat or drink 2 hours before the scheduled appointment time.
  • For older children: nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the scheduled appointment time.

The scan is done in 2 parts and will take about 2 hours to complete, however, in some cases it may take longer. One parent or guardian may stay with the child at all times.  Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test. Eating and drinking are not allowed in the room.

What to expect

Part 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 access. 

The IV remains for the duration of the procedure and will be removed before the child leaves the department. 

Once the IV has been inserted, a preparatory medicine (for example, Famotidine) that helps reduce the amount of stomach acids the body makes will be given through the IV.

This improves the quality of the images obtained in part 2. This preparatory medicine is given 1 hour before the injection of a small amount of radioactive medicine. 

Part 2

One hour after the Famotidine or similar medicine, has been given, your child will be asked to lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will go across their across their body for safety and to help them remain still while pictures are taken..  An injection of a very small amount of radioactive medicine will be given through the IV as your child is lying on the scanning bed.

This medicine mixes with the blood and will allow us to take pictures of your child’s insides. Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted (for example, watch a movie).

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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