This is a test which is used to detect a variety of conditions, including infections, abscesses and certain tumours such as lymphoma.

How to Prepare?

Please remember to bring your requesting letter and any recent X-rays or CT scans. At the time of your appointment, report to North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, which is located on the ground floor of North Shore Private Hospital in Westbourne St.

Take all of your usual medications.

There is no need to fast for any part of the gallium scan.

What to Expect?

The test involves an injection into a vein of a small amount of a radioactive compound called Gallium. A specialised camera is then used to take pictures of your body. On the first day, the test will be explained to you and a technologist will give you the injection gallium (this only takes no more than 15 minutes). You will return two days later for the scan which may take 30-90 minutes depending on what your doctor is looking for. (You are not scanned earlier because it takes several days for any abnormality to appear on the scan.) You may need to return for further scans over the next few days as gallium is normally excreted into the bowel and it may take up to 1 week for the bowel to clear.

There are no side effects or reactions from the injection. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is therefore safe to give even if you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure itself is completely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.

The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant, please inform us before the test begins.


You can drive home after the scan.  You will not be drowsy in any way.

In general, the scans and results are sent to your doctor the next working day. Depending on the type of scan you are having (and the clinical urgency), you may be able to take the scan with you in some cases, however there will be a delay while the report is typed.

If you have any questions please phone North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine on 8425 3684. We will be happy to answer any queries that you may have.

Additional Information