A renogram is a nuclear medicine test to look at the function of your kidneys, look for any areas of damage, and look at how well your kidneys excrete urine. Sometimes this test can also be used to see if there is reflux of urine from the bladder back to the kidneys (this is called an indirect cystogram).
What preparation is required for a renogram?
You will receive information about preparation from your radiology provider. Please contact them if you need more information. Generally, you will need to drink a minimum of 500ml of water in the hour before your scan.
What happens during the renogram?
You will be asked to sit on a chair, and the scanner will rest against your back. The radioactive tracer will be injected. You will need to sit very still for the duration of the scan. If you are also having an indirect cystogram, towards the end of the scan you will be asked to urinate while the scanner watches to see if you have reflux of urine back up to the kidneys. It takes about 40 minutes to complete the scan.
Figure above: the result of a renogram.
Is it painful?
No. You will need a small needle inserted into a vein in your arm or back of hand to allow injection of the radioactive tracer. Sometimes, a diuretic agent is also injected.
Important things you must tell the radiographer
- If you are, or could be pregnant
- If you are breast feeding
Is a renogram a safe investigation?
A small amount of radiation is involved, and this should not cause any long-term effects. If you have had many radiological procedures in the past, or you have them in the future, there is a small risk of an additive effect of the radiation. The benefits of having the scan usually far outweigh any small risk involved.
If you have any questions, please contact your chosen Radiology provider. The administration staff at Nick Brook Urology do NOT have information about your appointment times for radiology, and are not able to give medical advice or answer questions about radiological investigations. The staff are not able to give you your results – these need to be given to you either by the radiologist or by Nick Brook. Use the links below for contact details for the radiology companies in South Australia:
Radiology SA http://www.radiologysa.com.au
Benson Radiology http://bensonradiology.com.au
Dr Jones & Partners http://www.drjones.com.au
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.