The purpose of this study is to obtain pictures of your kidneys and investigate how they function, in order to help the doctor diagnose your condition, and give appropriate treatment as required.
On arrival you will receive an injection containing radioactivity into a vein in your arm. You will be asked to return to the Department approximately 3 hours later for the scan. After emptying your bladder, you will be required to lie down on a couch, and pictures of your kidneys are taken using a gamma camera. Each picture will take approximately 5 minutes. On occasions, the pictures may be taken with you sitting or standing. You do not normally need to take off clothing. Only removal of jewellery or metal objects in the kidney region is required. In order to get good quality pictures the camera will be close and you will have to remain still. The scan will take 30-60 minutes.
If you are pregnant, or you think you might be pregnant, you need to inform your doctor or the Nuclear Medicine staff before attending your appointment. In general, exposure to radiation during pregnancy should be kept to a minimum and it may be necessary to postpone your scan. The present guidelines recommend that breastfeeding need not be interrupted if the mother is undergoing this test; however, it is advisable to feed the baby before the injection and to express and discard any milk secreted over the first 3 hours following the injection.
We would prefer that you do not bring more than one person with you. However it is advisable not to have a pregnant woman or a small child with you. This is to avoid exposing them to unnecessary radiation. It is also preferable to avoid prolonged close contact (hugging a child / sitting a child on your knee for more than half an hour) for the rest of the day.
You may eat, drink, and take your medication as normal.
The needle prick from the injection may hurt a little. Side effects from the injection are very rare.
The amount of radioactivity you receive in this study is strictly within the recommended national level. At this level, the benefit to you from a diagnosis of your condition outweighs the risk (negligible) of any harm associated with the radiation you will receive.
You may eat as normal. The more fluid you drink the better, as the radioactivity is passed out in the urine. No extra precautions need to be taken when passing urine.
The Nuclear Medicine doctor will report on the study and the result will be sent to the doctor who requested the study. He/she will be able to discuss the results with you in relation to other tests you may have had.