Nuclear Renal Scan

Your doctor has ordered a renal scan. The role of this procedure is to evaluate kidney function and perfusion, kidney failure, kidney obstruction and to follow up on kidney transplants. Renal scans may also be used to screen and diagnose renovascular hypertensive disease. Our team of specialized doctors, nurses and technologists is led by Louise Thomson, MD and Alessandro D'Agnolo, MD, co-chiefs of Nuclear Medicine.

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • Drink at least 16 ounces of water 1 hour before the exam.
  • If your test is scheduled to diagnose renovascular hypertension, you should be off ACE inhibitor medications for at least 48 hours. You must consult with your physician before discontinuing your medications.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

After Arriving

  • Upon arrival, a technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.

During Your Exam

  • Once in the exam room, you will be asked to lie flat on your back on the imaging table.
  • You will receive an intravenous injection (in your vein) of a tracer dose of radioactive material. The level of radioactivity is extremely low and has no side effects.
  • If your test is scheduled to diagnose renovascular hypertension, you will receive a pill (captopril) to swallow, and will have your blood pressure monitored every 15 minutes for possibly 1 hour before the injection of radioactive material.
  • Using a special nuclear medicine camera, pictures of your kidneys will be obtained over the course of approximately 1 hour. The camera does not produce any radiation; it simply detects and records the distribution of the radioactive material in your kidneys.

After Your Exam

  • Your study will be reviewed by an imaging physician specialist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.