MIBG Scan (Adrenal Scan)

An I-123 MIBG Scan is a test that identifies and localizes certain types of cancer using a special medicine called a radiopharmaceutical.

The exam is done in two appointments spaced approximately 24 hours apart. This delay allows the body to absorb the radiopharmaceutical. During the first appointment, a radiopharmaceutical is given to your child intravenously. The injection of the medication is relatively quick, and the IV catheter does not stay in after the injection. Our staff are well trained in the safe placement of IV’s and proper pain reduction techniques. We will work with you to limit the discomfort of this necessary part of the exam. If your child has a chest port, PICC, or other type of central line it may be used for this exam. If it needs to be accessed, please apply numbing cream to the site prior to your arrival.

All children must receive a medication to protect their thyroid for this procedure. SSKI drops or Lugol’s solution will be ordered by the doctor who ordered the procedure. The drops protect your child's thyroid from the radioactive portion of the medicine we inject during the study. The thyroid blocking agent is taken for three consecutive days. The first dose is given the day before the injection. The second dose needs to be taken on the day of injection but at least one hour prior to injection. The final dose can be taken any time on scan day.

When you return for the scan on day 2, your child will need to lie still for the images to be of diagnostic quality. The scan will take approximately 2 hours. Many children require anesthesia support because of the length of this procedure. This can be discussed with the doctor ordering the exam or the imaging staff. Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are easily removed. Your child may be given a gown to change into for the procedure. If your child is able to successfully complete the exam awake, we have a variety of DVDs to choose from. Your child may also bring a favorite movie to watch during the exam.

Once the scan is complete, the images will be evaluated by a Radiologist. If the scan is satisfactory and no additional images are needed, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.