Octreotide scan

What is this test?

A nuclear medicine octreotide scan is used to look for tumors. 

Your appointment

If you make any changes to your insurance before your appointment please call Registrations at 1-866-309-0832. This will help prevent any delays and the need to reschedule your test, as many radiology services need a pre-authorization. 

Take Elevator H or I to level 3 Nuclear Medicine Center. It is between elevators H and I.

Please call Nuclear Medicine at 1-319-356-1911 if you:

  • Have questions
  • Need to cancel your appointment
  • Are unable to do the prep listed below or think you may be pregnant
    • You may not be able to have the test, or it may need to be rescheduled

Getting ready for your test

Before your test, tell your doctor or nurse if:

  • You are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding. 


  • You may eat and drink before and after your test.
  • If you have any other test today where you are told not to eat or drink for a longer amount of time, follow those instructions.


  • Stop taking octreotide (Somatostatin) 3 days before your test.
  • Take your other medicines as normal before and after your test. 

What to expect

You will come for three visits.

  1. Your first visit will take about 30 minutes. You will be given a radioactive medicine into your vein through an intravenous catheter (IV). The level of radioactivity is very low and does not have side effects.
  2. Your second visit will be three to four hours after you are given your medicine in your IV. Pictures of your body will be taken by a special machine called a gamma camera. The camera:
    • Does not emit any radiation
    • Will be close to your body while the pictures are taken.
  3. Your third visit will be 18 to 30 hours after you are given the medicine in your IV. Pictures of your body will be taken again using the gamma camera. You will also have a low dose computerized tomography (CT) scan done. 

Be sure to drink lots of fluids after your test. This helps to flush out the medicine you were given by the scan.

Last reviewed: 
August 2018

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