Liver and Spleen Scan
A liver and spleen
scan is a
nuclear scan that is done to look at these organs for
spleen scan, a
radioactive tracer substance is put into a vein (IV) in the arm. It moves through the blood to the
spleen . Areas of the liver and spleen where the tracer
collects in large amounts show up as bright spots in the pictures. Areas where
the tracer collects in low amounts or does not show up are seen as dark spots.
The pattern in which the tracer spreads through the liver and spleen can help
abscesses, certain types of tumors, or problems with
Scans of the liver and the spleen are done at the
Why It Is Done
A liver and spleen scan is done
- Check for diseases of the
liver . If liver disease has been diagnosed, a liver
scan can help show how well the liver is working.
- Look for cancer
in the liver.
- See if cancer has spread (metastasized) to the liver
- Show the condition of the liver and spleen after a belly
How To Prepare
Before your liver and spleen scan,
tell your doctor if you:
- Are or might be pregnant.
are breast-feeding. The radioactive tracer used in this test can get into
your breast milk. Do not breast-feed your baby for 2 days after this test.
During this time, you can give your baby breast milk you stored before the test,
or you can give formula. Discard the breast milk you pump for 2 days after the test.
- Have had an X-ray test using barium contrast
material (such as a barium enema) or have taken a medicine (such as
Pepto-Bismol) that has bismuth in the last 4 days. Barium and bismuth can block
a clear picture.
You will empty your bladder right before the scan.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for
the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A liver and spleen scan is often done
by a nuclear medicine technologist. The scan pictures are read by a
nuclear medicine specialist.
need to take off any jewelry. You may need to take off all or most of your
clothes. You will be given a gown to wear during the test.
During the test
technologist cleans the site on your arm where the radioactive tracer will be
injected. A small amount of the radioactive tracer is then injected.