Liver and Spleen Scan

A liver and spleen scan is a procedure used to look at the liver and spleen. The procedure uses radioactive isotopes. Isotopes are substances that give off radioactive emissions (rays). These rays are picked up by a special camera. The camera is similar to a Geiger counter. This camera produces images on film. Your caregiver will interpret these images. These radioactive compounds are very short lived. They last in your body for a very short time. They are not harmful to you. This is different than a CT scan.


  • Allergies

  • Medications taken including herbs, eye drops, over the counter medications, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or novocain.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

  • History of blood clots (thrombophlebitis).

  • History of bleeding or blood problems.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems.


You should be present 60 minutes prior to your procedure or as directed.


  • A small needle will be placed in a vein in your arm or hand. This needle will stay in place for the entire exam.

  • A small amount of very short acting radioactive material will be injected. This should cause no side effects. You will then be asked to wait for approximately twenty minutes.

  • Following the test you may go home, unless otherwise instructed. You may resume normal activities and diet as instructed.

Ask your caregiver how you are to find out your results. Remember it is your responsibility to find out the results of your test. Do not assume everything is all right or "normal" if you have not heard from your caregiver.