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Salivary Study


  • You have been referred for a Salivary Study in which imaging is done of your Head and Neck.

  • A Salivary Study is very sensitive in showing the function of your salivary glands.

  • Salivary Studies are very useful in showing Sialadenitis (inflammation of salivary glands), Sjogren's syndrome (autoimmune disease that effects the salivary and lacrymal glands) and monitoring effects of Cervical Radiotherapy.

  • The test involves a small injection of  “tracer” (like having a blood test).

  • The tracer we use is called 99mTc-Pertechnetate (99m-Technetium Pertechnetate).

  • There are rarely any side effects with this injection.

  • You lie on a bed whilst we inject the tracer and image your neck area using a Gamma Camera (1). This takes 20 minutes.

  • We then place some lemon juice into your mouth and image for a further 20 minutes.

  • We then image your neck in different side positions. This takes approximately 10 minutes.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a Salivary Study ~ up to 1.0 times your yearly background radiation (2).


Patient Preparation:

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • You are not to have anything to eat for 2 hours prior to the scan. Only water is permitted to drink.

  • Chewing sugar-free gum is permitted during your 2-hour fast. This must stop 5-minutes prior to the study.

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • If you are on any medications, please take these as normal.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you need to stop breast-feeding for 24-hours. During this time, you need to express and discard your breast milk as often as required. You will need to bottle-feed your child during this period.


(1) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(2) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. Salivary study ~ 2.4mSv = 1.0 times yearly background dose.

value. quality care. convenience.

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