Health A-Z

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Risk of a thyroid scan is minimal. The amount of radioactivity you are exposed to is comparable to that from a routine x-ray. The amount of radionuclide used is so small that it's unlikely to cause side effects or allergic reactions, and the benefits of having the test done usually outweigh any risks.

Women who are nursing or pregnant should discuss potential risks to the fetus or infant with a healthcare provider before having a thyroid scan and should consider alternatives.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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