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What is a Functional Renal (MAG3) Scan?

A Functional Renal Scan or MAG3, is an exam that evaluates the function of the entire urinary system.

This exam requires the use of a radiopharmaceutical through an IV catheter.

Prior to the exam:

Your child should not have certain radiographic contrast media 24 hours prior to the exam.

Dress your child in comfortable clothing with no metal objects such as zippers or snaps. Remove any jewelry as well.

We have a large variety of video entertainment to choose from, however, your child may also bring along his/her favorite DVD to watch during the exam.

Note: Parents/guardians will be allowed to accompany their child into the exam room.

When you arrive:

You must check in to Imaging Registration, on the first floor of the Benjamin Russell Building 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

Once the registration process is completed, a technologist will greet you and escort you to the nuclear medicine examination room. 

During the exam:

A technologist will place an IV in your child’s arm, hand, or foot in order to administer the radiopharmaceutical (tracer) injection needed for this exam. Your child will only feel a little discomfort, like a mild pinch. Once there is proper IV access, the procedure can begin.

Fluids will be given to your child though the IV catheter.  Once the fluids are administered, a urinary catheter will also be inserted and will remain in place for the duration of the exam. 

This is because Lasix will also be given during the imaging portion of the exam.  Lasix is a diuretic medication that makes the bladder and kidneys empty and it increases the urge to urinate.

The technologist will inject the tracer through the IV line. A set of images will be taken and the scan will last approximately 30 minutes. Your child will have to lie still during the imaging portion of the test.  After viewing the initial images, the nuclear medicine physician may determine that additional images are needed.

After the exam:

There are no special instructions for your child to follow upon completion of this procedure.

Test Results:

The images from your child's exam are interpreted by a pediatric radiologist and a report is sent to your physician's office.

If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 205-638-9730.

Question or concern about your child’s exam?