Medical Imaging

Nuclear Medicine > Exams & Procedures > Renal Structure Scan (Gluceptate)

This scan tests the size, shape and position of the kidneys. This test may have been ordered by your doctor to investigate several different possible disease processes:

  • To detect masses or lumps in the kidneys.
  • To detect a blockage of blood supply to part of the kidney.
  • To detect changes in structure of the kidneys.

This test involves the injection of a radioactive tracer that will flow through the bloodstream and be picked up by the kidneys. Pictures are taken continuously at the time the tracer is injected and for the next half an hour. At the end of the 30 minutes you are asked to go to the washroom and a one-minute picture is taken. Following this, a three-dimensional picture called a tomogram is acquired. The tomogram involves having the cameras rotate around the kidneys, taking pictures as they move. These pictures take about 30 minutes to complete and it is very important that you do not move during these pictures as movement causes blurring of the pictures and results in having to take the pictures again.

Preparation

  • You should drink plenty of water prior to the test and use the washroom immediately before the test begins.
  • Bring a list of all medications and supplements you take. This includes vitamins, herbal remedies, and holistic medications.
  • Do not bring children or pregnant women with you to the department. We do not want to expose them to unnecessary radiation.
  • Any of these procedures is subject to change according to the nuclear medicine physician. The duration of the tests is a rough estimate. Please be aware that the time may be lengthened if a scan has to be repeated, if emergency cases are brought to the department or due to unforeseen circumstances.

About the Procedure

  • The procedure takes about one and a half hours.
  • A technologist will briefly explain the test to you and try to answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
  • A technologist will ask you a few questions about your medical history and medications.
  • You will be asked to use the washroom immediately before the test is started.
  • You will be asked to lie down on an imaging bed.
  • Cameras will be positioned above and below you.
  • The technologist will give you an injection of a radioactive tracer into a vein.
  • Pictures are taken as the tracer is injected and for the next 30 minutes. It is very important that you do not move during these pictures.
  • You will be asked to use the washroom.
  • You will be repositioned in the cameras and a one-minute picture will be taken.
  • Three-dimensional pictures (the tomogram) are taken, which involves having the cameras rotate around the kidneys.
  • These pictures take 30 minutes to complete and it is very important that you do not move during these pictures as movement causes blurring of the pictures and results in having to take the pictures again.