Nuclear Medicine Liver/Spleen Scan

If there is a possibility of pregnancy or breastfeeding, please inform the technologist prior to the date of your examination.

What to expect

A liver/spleen scan is a nuclear medicine study. It checks for health problems in the liver and the spleen.

There is no special preparation for a this test. You may eat your regular diet. The scan will take approximately 1 to 2 hours.

If you cannot lie still for about 1 hour, you may need sedation for this scan. Talk with your practitioner if you have concerns about lying still for that long. If you are having procedures that use iodine or barium on the same day as your scan, these procedures should be done after your liver/spleen scan.

On the day of your exam

Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow for parking and registration. If you bring friends or family to the appointment they will be asked to have a seat in a waiting room during your test. Children cannot be left unattended during the test, so please arrange for a caregiver.

The procedure

You will be given a small dose of radioactive material through an IV. • Imaging will start 15 minutes after you receive the injection. At this time, you will be asked to lie flat on an exam table. The technologist will help make you comfortable. The gamma camera will take several pictures over your abdomen from different angles.

Your doctor may also request a SPECT (single photon emission tomography) scan to provide 3-D images of your liver and spleen. During a SPECT scan, the camera rotates around your body.

A low-dose CT scan may be done at the same time as the SPECT scan. If a CT scan is done, the technologist will tell you how to breathe during the scan. You must not move while the camera is taking pictures. If you move, the pictures will be blurry and may have to be repeated. Total imaging time may take up to 1 hour.

After the exam

Drink plenty of water to help your body get rid of the tracer. Most of it will leave your body in your urine or stool. The rest will go away over time.


Our radiologist will study your examination and a report will be forwarded to your practitioner, from whom you may obtain the results. If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact our department at at 608-342-4745.

Your Appointment

The radiology department will call you the day before the test to notify you with the time of your appointment. If you cannot be reached before 10 pm the test will be cancelled.

Date of appointment _______________________________________ 

Your procedure will be performed at Southwest Health at 1400 Eastside Road – Platteville, WI 53818. Please use the Main Hospital Entrance and check in at the Registration Desk prior to your scheduled procedure.

If you cannot keep your appointment please contact the radiology department at 608-342-4745 so that me may accommodate another patient.

NOTE: It may take 2-3 days to obtain verification from your insurance company for exams that require prior authorization, such as CT, MRI, Nuclear Stress, Injections, etc.