A kidney scan is a
nuclear scanning test that is done to check
kidney function or appearance. The results of a kidney
scan are usually available in 2 days.
The radioactive tracer flows evenly to and
through each kidney at the same time. The kidneys are working
The tracer flows from the kidneys into the urine, which then drains into the
bladder . This process occurs within a normal time
The kidneys take up the
radioactive tracer evenly. No "hot" spots or "cold" spots are seen.
The kidneys are not normal in shape, size,
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
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
- Abnormal results from a kidney scan may be
further investigated by tests such as a kidney
ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), or computed
tomography (CT) scan.
- Another type of scan
(radionuclide cystogram) may be done to determine whether urine is flowing
backward from the bladder into the ureters. To learn more, see the
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 17, 2012
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