What is a Lasix renal scan?
A Lasix renal scan is a test to look at how the kidneys are working and if there is any obstruction (blockage) in the kidney area.
How is the Lasix scan done?
A nuclear medicine technologist will do the test. They will explain it to your child step by step.
Your child will first have an injection (needle) into their vein to give fluids, a very small amount of radioactive medicine, and medication called Lasix.
The technologist will then gently place a small flexible tube called a catheter in your child’s urethra (say: yoo-REETH-ra). The urethra is the opening that allows urine to flow out of the bladder.
The catheter helps keep your child's bladder empty while the camera takes pictures of the kidneys. The radioactive medicine will be clear in the pictures and will show if your child's kidneys are blocked in any way.
Once the scan is done, the technologist will gently remove the catheter.
The technologist will do everything they can to respect your child's privacy and make your child as comfortable as possible during the scan.
Note: The injection before the scan is not painful, but your child's hand or arm can still be numbed first with a topical anaesthetic (a special cream or cooling spray). If you would like this option, it is best to arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment to allow the anaesthetic to take effect.
How should I prepare my child for the scan?
Take time to explain the scan to your child in the simple words that your family uses to describe how the body works. Children who know what to expect are usually less anxious.
Your child may feel some discomfort as the catheter is placed, but remind them that they can take slow deep breaths or pretend to blow up a balloon to help themselves feel more comfortable.
How long will the scan take?
The scan can take up to two hours. Please add half an hour to this time if your child has a topical anaesthetic before the injection.
Will I be able to stay with my child during the scan?
One parent or guardian may stay in the room during the scan, but no other children are allowed.
Does my child need to do anything special to prepare for the scan?
No, your child can eat and drink as usual.
If your child has a heart problem, however, they might need to take an antibiotic before the test. Your doctor should give you a prescription for the antibiotic and tell you how your child should take it.
Your doctor's office will also tell you if your child needs to go for a blood or urine test before the scan.
Are there any side effects from the scan?
Your child may feel some discomfort, such as a burning feeling, the first few times they urinate (pee) after the test. Your child will also need to urinate more than usual because of the Lasix medication.
Drinking clear fluids, such as water, will help to ease any discomfort and keep your child hydrated.
Does the scan carry any other risks?
A Lasix renal scan involves giving a very small amount of radiation to your child. The nuclear medicine team will discuss this with you when you and your child arrive for the scan. You might also find it helpful to read this information about nuclear medicine from the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging.
When are the results available?
A nuclear medicine doctor will send a report to your family doctor or paediatrician (child's doctor) within one or two working days of the scan. Please contact your doctor to get the results. You will not be able to get the results from the nuclear medicine technologist.
- A Lasix renal scan is a test to look at how the kidneys are working. It can take up to two hours.
- Your child will have an injection to get fluids, a tiny amount of radioactive medicine, and Lasix medication. A catheter will then be inserted in their urethra to keep their bladder empty while a special camera takes pictures of their kidneys.
- Your child will need to urinate more than usual after the test because of the Lasix medication. Give them clear fluids regularly to keep them hydrated.
- A nuclear medicine doctor will send the results of the scan to your family doctor or paediatrician (child's doctor) within two working days. The person who does the scan cannot give the results.