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Nuclear Medicine

Renal Scans 

What is a Nuclear Medicine Renal Scan?

Renal imaging provides your doctor with functional images of your kidneys.  In other words, how the cells are performing, whether normally or abnormally, and to what degree.  Renal imaging can be used for a variety of reasons:  to detect kidney blockage, measure the amount of functioning kidney tissue you have, evaluate blood flow to the kidneys and to detect possibly narrowing of the renal arteries.

How do I Prepare for this Test?

The preparation will depend on the type of exam and you will receive specific instructions from your ordering physician. Oral hydration encouraged.

What to Expect During the Renal Scan?

The technologist will inject the appropriate dose of a radiotracer into a vein.  Some renal scans require the use of an IV. The route of administration depends on the type of study.  A radiotracer is a compound made of a radioactive isotope and a pharmaceutical agent.  The radiotracer moves through the bloodstream to the kidneys.  The radioactive isotope releases energy, and a special camera creates an image from it.

 During the actual imaging portion of the exam, the technologist will ask you to lie on your back on a bed positioned between a set of cameras.  Once you are comfortable on the bed, the imaging will begin.  It is important that you remain still while the cameras are on as movement can affect the quality of the images.

Our Nuclear Medicine technologists will talk to you in detail about what you can expect before, during and after the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

Because patient care is our top priority, we employ equipment and quality control as well as radiopharmaceutical quality assurance to insure that we are producing the highest image quality for both interpretation and diagnosis.

Scan time is approximately 45 minutes.

Risks of the Test

Be sure to notify the technologist if there is any chance you may be pregnant. Radionuclides are unlikely to cause side effects or allergic reactions for most patients.

Following the Test

There are no restrictions following the test.  You may return to your regular activity after the scan is complete. 

Results of the Test

Your ordering physician will receive the results in 24-48 hours.  It is important to discuss the results of your scan with your ordering physician.