Renal Scintigraphy

What should patients know about renal scintigraphy, and what preparation should they be given?

In general, there is little in the way of patient preparation for a renal scan, although patients should be well hydrated. Patients should refrain from taking furosemide, which is sometimes given during the scan to help evaluate for obstruction. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors should also be avoided because they can alter the kidney’s ability to regulate perfusion. However, captopril, an ACE inhibitor, may be given during the study to help assess for renovascular disease. The scan itself usually takes approximately 30 minutes and begins with the intravenous injection of a radiotracer followed by imaging in the posterior projection for native kidneys and the anterior projection for renal transplants.

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