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Kidney Scan


A kidney scan is a nuclear scanning test that is done to check kidney camera.gif function or appearance. The results of a kidney scan are usually available in 2 days.

Kidney scan

The radioactive tracer flows evenly to and through each kidney at the same time. The kidneys are working normally.

The tracer flows from the kidneys into the urine, which then drains into the ureters and bladder camera.gif. This process occurs within a normal time range.

The kidneys take up the radioactive tracer evenly. No "hot" spots or "cold" spots are seen.


The kidneys are not normal in shape, size, or location.

The tracer does not flow evenly through the kidneys, meaning narrowing of, blockage of, or damage to the blood vessels or tissue in the kidneys. This may also mean poor kidney function.

The tracer collects in an area ("hot" spot) of a kidney. This might mean a tumor containing a higher-than-normal number of blood vessels.

An area of the kidney does not take up the tracer ("cold" spot). This may mean an abscess, cyst, or scarring.

The tracer does not pass from the kidneys into the urine and then through the ureters to the bladder. This can mean the movement of urine from the kidney is blocked.

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

What To Think About

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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