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“Well-tempered” diuresis renography: Its historical development, physiological and technical pitfalls, and standardized technique protocol

Seminars in Nuclear Medicine
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0001-2998(05)80083-2
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Differentiating the various causes of hydronephrosis from that of obstruction can be very difficult. Diuretic renography has been adopted as a noninvasive clinical management tool to assist in this differentiation. However, the correlation of the results of diuresis renography, the Whitaker test, and the surgical results has only been between 40% and 85%. This is believed to be due to the many physiological factors and technical pitfalls of the technique. These include variable renal function, variable compliance of the collecting system, the effect of back pressure from a full bladder, the state of hydration, the choice of radiopharmaceutical, and the timing of the diuretic injection. Even the technique of measuring the clearance half-time (T 1/2) is controversial, with at least eight different methods defined. In order to diminish the effect of these variables, a standardized protocol for diuretic renography has been proposed by a consortium of members of the Society for Fetal Urology and the Pediatric Nuclear Medicine Club of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. These include a standardized hydration with a dilute glucose solution, bladder catheterization and measurement of urine output response, uniform radiopharmaceutical choice, and diuretic dose with specific timing of the diuretic injection. The various methods for T 1/2 calculation are illustrated, and various steteotypical renogram and diuresis response curves are offered as aids in the interpretation of the study. Diuresis renography is one of the most complex functional studies in nuclear medicine today. A thorough understanding of the physiological basis for diuresis renography and the pitfalls of the technique is required for its appropriate use in the management of patients suspected of urinary tract obstruction.

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