Nuclear Medicine Preparation

Amyvid PET scan (click for preparations page)

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.

Bone density scan (QDR) (Click for preparations page)

Bone scan (click for preparations page)

Brain SPECT scan (click for preparations page)

Nuclear cardiology (click for Cardiac Imaging preparations page)

Ceretec brain SPECT (click for preparations page)


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

DaTScan (for Parkinsonian syndromes) (click for preparations page)

Gallium scan

  • No preparation required

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

  • Do not eat or drink 12 hours before your 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

Hepatobiliary (gallbladder) scan (click for preparation information)

I-123 MIBG scan (click for preparation information)

Lymphoscintigraphy (click for preparation information)

Lung scan (click for preparation information)

PET brain (click for preparation information)

PET/CT (click for preparation information

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.
  • Six 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

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.

Sestamibi SPECT (click here for more information)

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.