Renal Scintigraphy

Method

 

Supervision of a scintigraphy by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Supervision of a scintigraphy
by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Renal scintigram

Renal scintigram

Nuclear medicine in general

In nuclear medical examinations (scintigraphies) low-level radiolabelled medications (radiotracers) are used in the diagnosis of disease.

The radioactive test substance is injected into an arm vein. It is distributed throughout the body by the blood system, and depending upon its composition, accumulates in the target organ. The radiation produced (gamma rays) has low strength but a wide range. This means it can be visualized outside the body as an image or series of images using a special device (gamma camera).

Most scintigraphies cause an exposure to radiation equal to a person’s natural annual exposure. As all nuclear medical procedures involve such exposure – albeit only slight – to radiation, they can only be carried out when the patient is not pregnant.

 

Renal scintigraphy

Renal scintigraphy helps to evaluate the kidney functions of each side separately. In this way it is possible to assess problems with the function of kidney tissues, obstructions to urine flow, or narrowing of the kidney arteries.

 

Preparation

 

Preparation at home

Please make sure that you drink sufficient liquid in the run-up to the examination; directly before the examination you should drink an additional ½ litre.

If the examination is being carried out to clarify high blood pressure (hypertension), please do not take your medication to lower blood pressure on the day of the examination.

Please bring with you:

  • Where available, existing examination results (imaging, clinical examinations, surgical or hospital discharge reports, lab test results)
  • A towel
  • A drink containing little or no carbon-dioxide

Procedure

 

Prior to the examination you will be questioned about the medical history of your illness to date and your present symptoms. The doctor will also check whether there is a justifiable indication for the examination, i.e. whether a renal scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

The low-level radiolabelled medication (radiotracer) will be injected into an arm vein. The recording of data will begin immediately after this. During the examination you will be lying comfortably – usually on your back – on the examination table. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

It is possible that you will be given a diuretic drug in order to make an additional, subsequent recording (duration ca. 10 minutes).

The regular recording time is approx. 20 minutes. Usually, you will be able to leave the practice immediately after the examination.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us. This will usually reach your doctor within ten days; in case of medical necessity, it may also come at short notice on the same or the following day.