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Radionuclide Cystogram (RNC) – WR Pediatric Imaging Procedure

What is an RNC?

An RNC is a test used to determine whether your child has vesicoureteral reflux. This is a condition in which urine flows from the bladder back up to the kidneys.

Why would my doctor request an RNC?

An RNC can help:

  • Diagnose reflux
  • Assess if your child has recurring urinary tract infections
  • To followup on patients with known urinary reflux following antibiotics or anti-reflux surgery
  • Assess if a sibling has reflux

How to prepare for an RNC?

There is no special physical preparation for this test. Typically a technologist of the nuclear medicine staff will contact you at home to go over the procedure/details and to answer any questions and/or concerns in preparation for your arrival. It is helpful to explain in simple age-appropriate terms why the test is needed, what will happen, and what you and your child can do to prepare for the test.

Your child may bring a security blanket or toy with him/her to hold during the procedure. If your child has any cardiac problems, please contact WR Pediatric Imaging at 919-782-4830 prior to your appointment in case prophylactic antibiotics are indicated.

How is an RNC performed?

You and your child will be greeted by one of our technologists who will explain what will happen during the examination. Your child will be given a hospital gown to change into and will need to void before the study begins. Your child will be asked to lie on the imaging table. Girls will be asked to lie with their knees bent and dropped to the side with their feet together, in a ”frog“ position. Boys will be asked to lie with their legs straight. Your child’s urethra will be washed sterilely with soap and water using soft cotton balls. It is very important that this area stay extremely clean so not to introduce any bacteria to the area. A small amount of Xyelocaine jelly, which acts as a lubricant and numbing agent, will be placed at the urethra opening and on the tip of the catheter (small flexible plastic tube). The technologist will gently slide the catheter through the urethra opening and into the bladder. The catheter will then be taped to the leg to hold it in place. Urine that is in the bladder will be collected for bacteriologic testing. The catheter will be connected to a bag of saline solution containing a radiopharmaceutical called Technetium-99m. Imaging will begin and the liquid will flow from the bag into the bladder. When your child’s bladder is full, the catheter will be removed and your child will be asked to void into a plastic container. The camera will continue to take pictures until the bladder is empty. A post void image may be required if the bladder does not completely empty during the first phase of the study. The entire test takes up to 30 minutes. It is important that your child remain still during imaging to obtain the best quality images.

What can be expected during the test?

Your child may feel discomfort with the placement of the catheter. Our personnel are aware of the sensitive nature of the area to be tested, and every effort is made to ensure privacy and to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible.

What happens after the study?

Once the study is complete, it will be evaluated for quality. If there was too much motion, the study may need to be repeated. If there was no motion, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity. After the test, your child may have pink urine or feel some discomfort the next two or three times when going to the bathroom. This can occur in some cases and will go away over time. Drinking extra fluids will help ease the discomfort. If your child is unable or unwilling to go to the bathroom following the test, try a warm bath. This usually helps ease the discomfort. Call your doctor if your child has blood in the urine, pain, fever or is unable to urinate after eight hours.

Badges of Honor

Wake Radiology is proud to have received the highest accreditations possible from the American College of Radiology (ACR).

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Did You Know?

Wake Radiology is the clear choice for radiology services.

3-to-1-prefer+ By nearly 3-to-1, Triangle residents prefer Wake Radiology over any other imaging group.*

+ 90% of patients would recommend Wake Radiology to a friend (far exceeding national averages).**

*Public Policy Polling. **The Ask Your Patient Survey, 2014.

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