Red Blood Cell Liver Scan Information Sheet

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What is a Red Blood Cell Liver Scan?

A Red Blood Cell Liver scan is used to detect and evaluate lesions in the liver. The lesion may have been previously found on some other imaging for example ultrasound or CT.

What preparation is required?

There is no specific preparation for this test – you do not need to fast, or skip any medications.

What happens during the test?

There are several steps in this test. We will put a cannula into a vein first, and then give you the first injection of stannous ions (PYP). This is a pharmaceutical which attaches to the red blood cells in your bloodstream preparing your red cells for the radiotracer. After 20-30min, we will take a small amount (10ml, or about 2 tsp) of your blood, and mix it with the radiotracer. We then give your blood back to you containing the radiotracer and take images with our camera for approximately 10mins.

We will then give you a time to return to us for delayed pictures (usually 2hrs later) which will take approx 30mins.

Are there any side effects?

There should be no side effects from the tracer injection, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation used is quite small.

How long will the test take?

Please allow 2 hours for the first part and half an hour for the second part.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Your doctors may have requested that you undergo this examination while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctors will have considered and discussed the risks and benefits of having the scan to the health of both you and your baby.

As part of the procedure you will be given the opportunity to further discuss any concerns that you may have including the potential risks and benefits with one of our staff members.

This examination may have been deemed suitable for you to undergo while you are breastfeeding. You will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours following the administration of the radiotracer. It is advised that you express and discard your breast milk during this period. You may resume routine breast feeding after 12 hours. Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.


If you are / could be pregnant OR are breast-feeding please call us to discuss your options.

It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you.

Please feel free to call us on 6244 2439 if you have any questions or to reschedule.


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