Pediatric Lasix Renal Scan

Pediatric Lasix Renal Scan

What is a Lasix renal scan?

A Lasix Renal Scan is a series of pictures of the excretory or urinary system of the body - in other words, the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra. The pictures will help your child’s doctor determine if these body parts are formed and functioning properly.

How does the urinary system work?

The blood circulates through the kidneys. They filter and clean the blood to produce urine. The urine then flows out of the kidneys down through the ureters to the bladder. When the bladder is full, the urine passes through the urethra out of the body.

Why was a Lasix renal scan ordered?

The Lasix Renal Scan will record how the kidneys, ureters and bladder function together. A nuclear medicine radiologist (a medical doctor who has advanced medical training in the chemistry and physics of nuclear medicine tests and treatments) will review the scan record. The radiologist may find each of these body parts function well and no further treatment may be needed. However, the radiologist may find one or more part is not functioning properly. In this case some form of treatment may be needed. The Lasix Renal Scan results will help your child’s doctor select the best treatment.

Who will perform the Lasix renal scan?

A radiologist assisted by a nuclear medicine technologist will perform the scan. The nuclear medicine radiologist will interpret the results of the scan and inform your child’s doctor of the results. You will get the results of the scan from your child's doctor.

Where will the scan be done?

The scan is done in the Radiology Department in University Hospital East.  Report to Radiology Reception on the main floor.   You may park in the garage across the street from the hospital. Bring your parking ticket with you. Parking is free. However, your ticket must be validated to qualify for free parking.

How does the scan work?

Prior to the scan a small plastic needle called an IV is placed in the vein. Through this IV your child will be given a dose of a radioactive medicine compound which travels to the urinary system. The medicine compound gives off invisible rays, called gamma rays, as it travels through the kidneys, ureters and bladder. After the injection, your child will lie on a special x-ray table to have the scan performed. A special gamma camera, placed very close to the body, records the invisible gamma rays as flashes of light. The end pictures are an image or movie that shows the kidneys, ureters and bladder in action. Frequently prior to the scan, a plastic tube called a catheter will be inserted into the bladder to help empty urine.

How long does the test take?

It takes about an hour to get ready for the scan. The scan will then last another hour or two.

Is the radioactive medicine compound dangerous?

The answer is NO. Your child will receive only a tiny amount of radiation that is equal to approximately as much radiation as 4 chest x-rays.  Also, the radiation compound will lose most of its radioactivity in hours or days.

What must be done to get ready for the test?

If your child is old enough to understand, discuss the scan with him/her. Tell the child to "lie very still" for the pictures. Reassure him/her that you will be able to remain with them, while the pictures are taken. Bring along a favorite storybook or video for entertainment.

Children less than 4 years of age may have trouble holding still for the scan. Usually these children require "sedation" medicine. This is not the same as "gas" or general anesthesia. It is a liquid medication given by mouth. A radiology registered nurse will administer the medication. Throughout the scan, the nurse will monitor heart rate and oxygen level.

Please follow these instructions, if your child will require sedation:

  • Arrive in radiology 1 HOUR prior to your appointment time.
  • DO NOT give your child any milk or food 4 hours prior to arrival at the hospital. This includes formula.
  • Your child may have Clear Liquids (Jello, Popsicle, Apple Juice, Pedialyte, Gator Aide) up to 2 HOURS prior to arrival at the hospital.
  • The child MAY HAVE NOTHING BY MOUTH FOR LAST 2 HOURS prior to arrival at the hospital.
  • Wake your child up early and keep them awake. A sleepy child is easier to sedate than a child who has had a long nap.
  • It is good to bring a 2nd adult along with you to help care for the child following the procedure. If sedation is given, the child will be sleepy on the way home.
  • We have a small pediatric sedation room. It will not accommodate over 2 adults and 1 child. Leave other children with a sitter. Space is limited and a quiet environment is needed for sedation.

What happens after the test?

If your child received sedation, he/she will be monitored until responsive and then discharged. If no sedation is given, the child will be discharged immediately after the scan.

The radiologist will report to your child’s doctor the results of the scan.


For any questions or concerns

Contact the Radiology and Medical Imaging department at 434-924-9400.