Need to Know
Nice to Know
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this Exam Done?
DaTscan is the first-and-only FDA-approved imaging agent to aid in the assessment and diagnosis of adult patients in whom a parkinsonian syndrome or essential tremor is suspected.
How Does it Work?
DaTscan is an imaging technology that uses small amounts of a radioactive tracer to help determine how much dopamine is available in a person’s brain. A machine, called a single photon emission computed tomography or SPECT scanner, measures the amount and location of the radiopharmaceutical in the brain.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
One hour before the exam, you will receive potassium iodide (thyroid blocking agent) to allow you to safely take the Radioactive I-123 required for the scan.
Before the scan, DaTscan (I-123 Ioflupane) will be injected through an intravenous (IV) line into your arm. To allow the DaTscan to distribute throughout your body, you will need to wait three to 3-4 hours before the imaging test can begin.
For the imaging test, you will be asked to lie on a table and an imaging technologist will position your head in a headrest. A strip of tape or a flexible restraint may be placed around your head to help you to not move your head during the scan.
A camera will be positioned above you and you must remain very still for about 35 minute while images are taken. The scanner will be very close to your head, but will not touch your head. The camera is open so you are not completely surrounded and the technologist may stay in the scan room with you.
How Should I Prepare?
- Please wear comfortable clothing and refrain from wearing necklaces and earrings.
- We will ask that you remove hearing aids if they are being worn
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
- DaTscan is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the active substance, any of the excipients, or iodine.