Patient Exam Preparation Instructions

Diagnostic Imaging

Patients need to follow specific instructions for diagnostic imaging exams that include general radiology, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI.

Read the patient instructions for diagnostic imaging exams (PDF) »

Breast Health

Read the instructions to prepare for a mammography or bone densitometry exam. »

Barium Enema or Small Bowel Follow Through

If you are scheduled for a Barium Enema or Small Bowel Follow Through, please print the preparation instructions below and purchase the required products. Call 503-681-4088 if you have questions about the prep instructions or your exam.

If you have an ostomy (ileostomy, colostomy or fecal diversion), please speak to your physician before proceeding with prep instructions.

Download a PDF with the Barium Enema and Small Bowel Follow Through prep instructions [English] [en Español]

Nuclear Medicine

HIDA (Hepatobiliary) Scan
Preparation: NPO (nothing to eat or drink) 6 hours. No narcotics for 24 hours.
Duration of exam: Approximately 2.5 hours.  May take up to 4 hours if abnormal.

Bone Scan
Preparation: None. Force fluids if possible during wait time.
Duration of exam: 30 minutes for injection and/or flow, 3 to 6 hours wait time and then 45 minutes to 1 hour for delay images.

Lung Scan
Preparation: None
Duration of exam: 1 hour.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding Scan
Preparation: None
Duration of exam: 1 to 1.5 hours, may have delayed images.

Myocardial Perfusion (Cardiac Stress Test)
Preparation for Resting Images:  NPO (nothing to eat or drink)
Duration of exam: 3 hours.

Preparation for Lexiscan Stress:  NPO (nothing to eat or drink) 3 hrs, No caffeine for 24 hours.
Duration of exam: Preferably a 2 day study.  If patient is less than 200lbs, a one day study may be performed. Rest images, allow 1.5 hours, Stress allow 2.5 hours.  If one day, allow 3.5 hours.

Thyroid Uptake and Scan
Preparation:  This exam is very specific and strict.  Restrictions include no iodinated contrast in the past 4 weeks; patients on thyroid hormones need to be off of them different lengths of time depending on the drug. (synthroid and levothyroxine – off 4 weeks, methimazole and PTU – off 2 weeks)
Duration of exam:  2 days.  Swallow capsule on 1st day (1/2 hour), images on 2nd day (1 hour).

White Blood Cell Tagging
Preparation: None
Duration of exam: Patient has blood drawn 1st day, and is re-injected with their white cells about 4 hours later.  Imaging is done the next day, 1 hour.  If a bone scan is ordered in combination, it will be done to follow on the second day.

MUGA (Cardiac Ejection Fraction)
Preparation: None
Duration of exam: 1.5 hours.

Gastric Emptying Study
Preparation: Nothing by mouth for at least 4 hours – not even water.  If you take any narcotic pain medicine, or medicines for nausea or gastric motility, please call to discuss prior to your exam.
Duration of exam: 4.5 hours.

H.pylori Breath Test
Preparation: Nothing by mouth for at least 6 hours.  No gum, no smoking, no food, no water, no brushing teeth.  Must not have had antibiotics for one month, no pepto bismol or bismuth for one month, no medicines for stomach acid for 2 weeks.  Tums and Rolaids are fine until 24 hours prior to exam time.
Duration of exam: 30 minutes.

Parathyroid Scan
Preparation: None
Duration of exam: Scan takes 30 minutes initially, 2 to 3 hour wait time and then 45 minutes for delay images.

Renal (Kidney) Scan
Preparation for routine or baseline renal: Need to be well hydrated.
Duration of exam:  45 minutes.

Preparation for captopril renal: stop ACE inhibitors 72 hours prior to exam, and stop diuretics 24 hours before exam.
Duration of exam: Two day test: 45 minutes first day ;and 2 hours second day.

Preparation for Lasix renal: stop diuretics 24 hours before exam.
Duration of exam: 1 hour.


We have put together preparation instructions to ensure you have a successful PET/ CT scan. Please remember your blood sugar must be below 180 to be able to complete the scan.

Download a PDF with the PET CT prep instructions [English] [en Español]


Radiology information explains how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The website contains nearly 200 procedures, exam and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety and is updated frequently with new information.

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