Parathyroid Scan

About Parathyroid Scans ..

Sestamibi is actively taken up by parathyroid adenomata and has a slow washout from these lesions compared to normal parathyroid tissue. The scan is normally done in conjunction with a technetium thyroid scan because thyroid adenomas may also show increased retention of Sestamibi.

99mTc-Sestamibi Parathyroid imaging can be useful in the preoperative detection and localisation of parathyroid adenomas in patients having proven hyperparathyroidism (sensitivity of 90%). SPECT/CT provides topographic correlation with adjacent anatomical structures; this imaging technique can identify a single adenoma, multiple adenomas, ectopic adenomas or hyperplastic glands.

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  • Localisation of suspected parathyroid adenoma. It is not a screening test for hyperparathyroidism.


  • A Thyroid scan is usually performed a few days before the Parathyroid study unless the patient is on Thyroxine or has had recent IV contrast.

  • Parathyroid scans involve early imaging including SPECT-CT soon after IV injection, this takes about 45 minutes. 

  • Later Parathyroid images are taken approx. 2 hours later.


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Page last reviewed: 23 March 2015