Liver & Spleen Scans at Valley Radiology

Liver and spleen scans, also known as hepatosplenic scans, evaluate the overall health, function, and structure of the liver and spleen organs.

At Valley Radiology, we offer a leading-edge imaging technique that combines nuclear medicine with computed tomography (CT) scans. This combination provides the most detailed view of your liver and spleen, allowing your doctor to effectively identify, diagnose, and treat the source of your liver and spleen pain.

Continue reading to learn more about the spleen and liver scans at Valley Radiology.

What Is a Liver and Spleen Scan?

A liver and spleen scan is an imaging test that shows your doctor how well these organs work and helps them identify potential problems. It combines nuclear medicine with a computed tomography (CT) scan.

In a liver/spleen scan, a small amount of radioactive (nuclear) material is injected into your vein. This material is called a tracer because it “sticks” to problem areas, which will help your doctor quickly locate issues in and around your liver and spleen.

Once the tracer circulates through your body, your doctor uses a CT scan to create detailed images of your liver and spleen. CT images use a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create highly accurate images of the inside of the body. 

What Can Liver and Spleen Scans Detect?

A liver scan using nuclear medicine is commonly used to help pinpoint the reason behind your liver and spleen pain. It also helps your doctor evaluate, diagnose, and treat diseases like 

  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis (liver inflammation)
  • Cirrhosis (permanent scarring of the liver)
  • Cysts
  • Abscesses (swollen areas with pus)
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Injuries 

How Long Does a Liver & Spleen Scan Take?

This scan takes about an hour. After the injection, you must wait about 15-30 minutes. Your body will take this long to circulate and absorb the tracer.

Next, they will take two sets of imaging scans. The first will be with a gamma camera, and the second will be with a CT scanner. Each set of scans will take approximately 15-20 minutes.

How to Prepare for a Liver & Spleen Nuclear Medicine Scan

If your doctor or specialist has referred you for a liver/spleen scan (and you’ve had an initial consultation with your radiologist), here is how you can prepare for the appointment

  • Food
    Typically, patients must avoid eating for several hours before the scan. This fasting period ranges between 4-12 hours, depending on the specific scan and facility protocols. 
  • Medication
    You may need to adjust or temporarily stop taking certain medications, especially if they could affect the scan results. Please consult your doctor to confirm whether you need to make any adjustments.
  • Allergies
    Inform your doctor if you have any known allergies to medications or contrast dyes before your scan. They may need to take extra precautions or provide alternative solutions.
  • Clothing
    You will be asked to change into a hospital gown for your liver/spleen scan. Before the scan, you must also remove any jewelry, watches, or metal objects. A secure locker is available for personal items.

The information above is only intended as a general guideline. Please follow your doctors’ guidelines when preparing for a liver/spleen scan to ensure the best possible results. 

If pregnant or breastfeeding, please check with your physician before scheduling your liver/spleen scan. Also, let us know if you have any metal in your body (e.g., fillings, spinal fusion rods, hip replacements, tattoos, permanent makeup, etc.).

Liver and Spleen Nuclear Medicine Scans in Fayetteville, NC

Our dedicated team provides leading-edge nuclear medicine scans and imaging solutions, including spleen and liver scans, as part of a comprehensive health assessment. 

If it has been recommended that you have a liver scan in North Carolina, please get in touch with us to learn how to schedule an appointment today.

Please note a doctor’s referral is required for all spleen and liver scans with nuclear medicine and all other services except mammograms.