Your Cystogram explained

This patient information is for patients having a Cystogram and aims to tell you what a Cystogram is and what will happen.

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General information

A doctor has asked that we take some pictures of your kidneys.

If the appointment clashes with another outpatient appointment or test, or you are unable to attend on this day, please contact this department as soon as possible.  We can then reschedule the test and assign the appointment to another patient.

As the test involves small amounts of radiation, we ask that you are not accompanied by children under 18 or anyone who may be pregnant. You may bring one adult with you to the department.

If you have mobility issues, are incontinent or claustrophobic please contact the department on the number provided.

Benefit and risks of the test

Everyone receives some radiation every day from the radioactivity in the air, food we eat and even from space.  The amount of radiation in a nuclear medicine test is similar to your natural exposure over one year so the risks associated with it are low.

The main benefit of the test is making the correct diagnosis, so you can get the treatment that is right for you.  This benefit is far greater than the small risk from radiation.

What does the test involve?

Part 1

The test involves lying on a bed over the camera (see picture) before being given a small injection of a radioactive tracer into one of the veins in your hands or arms.  There should be no ill effects from the injection.  As soon as the injection has been given, pictures are taken continuously for 30 minutes to produce a cine film of the kidneys working.  It is important to avoid any blurring of the pictures and so you must lie as still as possible whilst they are taken.

Part 2

Once the first set of pictures has been acquired you will be asked to sit on a commode, with your back against the camera and pass urine (see picture).  A screen will be used to provide privacy. Whilst you are urinating we will acquire a second cine film of the urinary system.


If you are pregnant or breast-feeding you must inform the department as quickly as possible as special arrangements may have to be made.

There is no special preparation required for this test.  Please eat and drink as normal.  Please bring with you a list of any medication that you are on (your repeat prescription sheet if possible).

After the test

You must take extra care to wash your hands thoroughly after toilet use, to sit down when you use the toilet and to flush the toilet twice.  You must also continue to drink extra fluids for the rest of the day and empty your bladder frequently. This will improve the clearance of the radiation from your body.

When the test is completed, the images will be reviewed and a report will be available to the doctor who has requested the test.

The camera

The Gamma Camera used to take the pictures has an open design and the majority of patients complete the test without any discomfort.

Department of Nuclear Medicine

Lincoln County Hospital     01522 573103

Grantham Hospital              01476 464777