Frequently Asked Questions

How long will I be at the NIH?

Most patients coming for a first time evaluation will spend about 4 to 6 hours at the NIH.

What if I live outside the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia area?

The NIH will pay for your travel either by plane or train, or reimburse for car mileage (if you live more than 50 miles away from our Bethesda, MD campus). Once your appointment date is secured, Amelia Nargozian will be your point of contact for all travel and lodging arrangements during your stay. DO NOT MAKE ANY PLANE OR TRAIN RESERVATIONS ON YOUR OWN; we are required to use our government travel agent.

Will I be an inpatient or outpatient?

When you come to the NIH for evaluation, you will be an outpatient.

If I am staying as an outpatient, do I make reservations at a hotel?

This is only applicable if you live more than 50 miles away from our main campus. We try our best to accommodate you in the Safra Family Lodge, which is located across the road from the Clinical Research Center (CRC), on the grounds of the NIH (see map). To stay at the Safra Family Lodge is a privilege, but there may be times your reservations may be revoked due to patient emergencies at the CRC.

If I have reservations at the Safra Family Lodge, are there certain times, I need to check in or out?

Yes, check in to Safra Family Lodge is 3:00 PM, and you MUST be completely out of your room by 11:00 AM.

Any concern with radiation exposure, with having scans?

The radiation exposure from all of the scans is minimal, and monitored very closely during the study. Each imaging visit radiation total is approximately equivalent to a clinical full body Computed Tomography (CT) scan with contrast, or as much radiation as you may get outside on a regular day.

How should I prepare for the tests I will be having?

  • Blood draw - Please fast the night before prior to your blood work.
  • Adipose biopsy - Please eat a light breakfast about 4 hours prior to procedure.
  • Cardiovascular imaging - Please do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to testing.

Food at the NIH?

There are two cafeterias and a coffee shop, at the CRC/Building 10; please see map of the CRC for location. We will provide you with $25/day meal vouchers.