How To Prepare
Before your kidney scan, tell your
- You are or might be pregnant.
are breast-feeding. The radioactive tracer used in this test can get into
your breast milk. Do not breast-feed your baby for 2 days after this test.
During this time, you can give your baby breast milk you stored before the test,
or you can give formula. Discard the breast milk you pump for 2 days after the test.
- Within the past 4 days, you have had an
X-ray test using barium contrast material (such as a
barium enema) or have taken a medicine (such as
Pepto-Bismol) that contains bismuth. Barium and bismuth can interfere with test
- You have had an X-ray test using contrast material in the
last 48 hours. X-ray tests with contrast material may include an intravenous
pyelogram (IVP) or abdominal
computed tomography (CT) scan.
You may be asked to drink 2 to 3 glasses of water right
before the scan.
You may be asked to sign a consent form.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need
for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A kidney scan is usually done by a
nuclear medicine technologist. The scan pictures are usually interpreted by a
nuclear medicine specialist.
Before the test
You will need
to remove any jewelry that might interfere with the scan. You may need to take
off all or most of your clothes, depending on which area is being examined (you
may be allowed to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the
test). You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the
During the test
The technologist cleans the site on your arm where the
radioactive tracer will be injected. A small amount of the radioactive tracer
is then injected. Medicine to increase your urine output (a diuretic) may also
be injected. You may lie on your back on a table, stand, or sit upright. A
large scanning camera will be positioned closely above your belly