You may eat, drink, and take any medications that you need to prior to this exam. It is highly recommended that you be well hydrated prior to this procedure. There is no need to hold your bladder. You will be instructed to drink a lot of fluid and empty your bladder often prior to this procedure. You should not take any ACE inhibitors (a certain type of blood pressure medication) 48 hours before your exam. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if you are taking an ACE inhibitor.
What to Expect:
Upon arrival to our reception area, you will be escorted back to the Nuclear Medicine suite by one of our team members. Once there, your Technologist will explain the procedure to you, discuss your symptoms (if any) along with your medical history and start an IV in vein in your arm (or hand).
Your Technologist will assist you onto the imaging table and position the camera below your kidneys. You will then be injected with a small amount of radiopharmaceutical (MAG3) through your IV. The scan will begin immediately and you will be asked to hold very still. There are two scans; the first takes approximately 40 minutes. For maximum comfort, you will be lying on your back with a pillow under your head and knees covered with a warm blanket. Feel free to bring along your favorite DVD movie or music CD to use during your procedure or you may choose from our selection.
After the initial imaging is complete you will be escorted to our Radiology Nurses area. The Radiology Nurses will administer an oral medication called Captopril. Captopril is a blood pressure medication and will assist your kidneys for the procedure. The Radiology Nurses will monitor your blood pressure for one hour following the oral administration of the Captopril.
After the hour of blood pressure monitoring, you will return to the Nuclear Medicine suite. Your Technologist will again assist you onto the imaging table and position you for one last scan. This scan will take an additional 40 minutes.
Once the imaging is complete, your Technologist will evaluate the image for quality, remove your IV, address any issues or concerns that you may have, and escort you back to the reception area. The images are read by a Radiologist (doctor) and the results are dictated, transcribed and sent to the ordering physician within 3 business days. The ordering physician will provide results to you.
Common reasons to perform a Renal Scan with Captopril include (but are not limited to):
- Abrupt or severe hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypertension resistant to medical therapy
- Worsening renal function during therapy with ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medication)