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Renal Scintigraphy


Renal scintigraphy is an imaging test that uses a radioactive medicine and a camera to take pictures of your kidneys. The pictures show the shape of your kidneys and how they are working. This test may be used to find out how a transplanted kidney is working. It may also show blood flow problems in your kidneys that may be causing your high blood pressure or problems when you urinate. You may also need this test if your blood or urine tests show that your kidneys are not working properly. Your healthcare provider will use these test results to learn about your condition and decide the best way to treat you.


Before the test:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • You will need to be well hydrated for the kidney test to work. You may need to drink 2 to 3 glasses of water before the test, or as directed. You may need to empty your bladder right before the test.

During your test:

Your healthcare provider will tell you to lie on your back or sit up straight. An IV will be put in a vein. You will be given radioactive medicine through the IV. The radioactive medicine will help show how fluid flows through your kidneys. Pictures of your kidneys are taken. You may need to change positions during the test. Renal scintigraphy can take 45 minutes to a few hours as the radioactive medicine moves through your body.

After your test:

  • Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquids than usual. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help flush the radioactive medicine out of your body.
  • You may not be able to breastfeed after this test. Ask healthcare providers how long you must stop breastfeeding.


You may have an allergic reaction to the radioactive medicine used for this test. The results of your test may not be clear. Side effects from the radioactive medicine may start immediately and can last for several days. Side effects include vomiting, chills, nausea, headache, dizziness, or a fast heartbeat. You may notice increases in your blood pressure if you monitor it at home.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.