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Mucociliary Clearance Scan

A Mucociliary Clearance Scan looks at how well the cilia (hair-like projections) move microbes and debris up and out of the airways (lungs and trachea)


Your child must be no less than 7 years of age and with no upper respiratory infection in the past 2 weeks. Your child can eat and drink as usual.

This test is done in 2 parts and will take up to 2.5 hours to complete.   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 be required to breath via a mouthpiece a small amount of a radioactive medicine in the form of a mist for about 10 minutes.

A nose clip will be placed on the nose to prevent any radioactive mist from escaping.  

After 10 minutes, your child will be given some water to rinse his/her mouth and asked to spit it out.

Part 2

Your child will be asked to lie down on our narrow bed and a seatbelt is placed across their body to ensure safety and to help your child remain as still as possible while our special camera takes some pictures.   

These pictures will look at how the cilia (hair like projections) are moving microbes and debris up and out of the airways.

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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