Nuclear Medicine Preparation

Written order needed.

Biliary Scan (exam time: 1½ to 2½ hours with the possibility of delayed imaging from three hours and up to 24 hours after the start of the exam)

  • Do not eat or drink anything four hours before the exam.

Renal Scan (exam time: 90 min; visit time about two hours)

  • Drink two 8-ounce glasses of fluids one to two hours before your exam.

Renal Scan with Captopril (exam time: 2½ hours; visit time about three hours)

  • Ask your doctor about going off ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonist 48 hours before your exam.
  • Drink two eight-ounce glasses of fluids one to two hours before your exam.

Gastric Emptying (exam time: three hours; visit time about 4½ hours)

  • Do not eat or drink 12 hours before your exam.


  • Do not eat or drink for eight hours before the exam.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) (approx. visit time: 3½ hours)

You can print and fill out the PET or PET brain questionnaire on our Pre-Registration Questionnaire page, depending on your study, to speed the registration process.

Forty-eight hours before exam:

  • Do not do any strenuous exercise or deep tissue massage

Twelve hours before exam: 

  • Stay on a very low carbohydrate, no sugar diet (see below)
  • Do not have gum or mints, and do not consume caffeine including decaf products. Note: Decaffeinated products contain caffeine.

Six hours before: 

  • Do not eat or drink anything, with the exception of water.
  • Take medications as prescribed.
  • If you are diabetic, ask your doctor about diet and medication

Positron Emission Tomography with FDG (FDG PET) (exam time: three hours; total of three visits over two days)

Note: There are two types of PET exams, FDG PET and Rubidium PET (also known as Myocardial Perfusion PET.) Rubidium PET requires a different preparation than the one listed below. If you are not sure which PET exam you are having, please call our scheduling department at 310.423.8000 (option 1. )

FDG PET scans require careful preparation, so please follow instructions carefully.

(Diabetics should discuss the preparations with their doctor.)

  • 24 hours before your appointment:
    • Do not do any strenuous exercise or deep-tissue massage.
    • Refrain from consuming any caffeine, including any decaffeinated products.
  • 12 hours before your appointment:
    • Stay on a no-carbohydrate diet. (See below for a guide on what to eat.)
    • Do NOT engage in any strenuous exercise.
    • Do NOT chew gum.
    • Avoid mints.
  • 6 hours before your appointment:
    • Do NOT eat or drink anything, with the exception of water.
    • Take any prescribed medications as usual.
    • If you are diabetic, please consult your doctor for questions regarding diet and medication.
  • No-carbohydrate, no-sugar diet guide:

Foods allowed:

  • All meats
  • Tofu
  • Hard cheeses
  • Eggs
  • Unsweetened peanut butter
  • Oil, margarine, butter
  • Diet soda (be careful to avoid caffeinated and decaffeinated sodas.)
  • Nonstarchy vegetables (such as: broccoli, spinach, green beans.)
Foods not allowed:
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Dry beans
  • Gravies
  • Fruit and fruit juices
  • Jams and jellies
  • Sugar and candy
  • Honey
  • Starchy vegetables (such as: peas, corn, potatoes)
  • Milk (including nondairy milk)
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee or Tea

Why choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for a nuclear medicine study?

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.  

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