The proliferation of imaging methods for the kidney and urinary tract, combined with advances in technology and the introduction of new techniques, has created uncertainty in selecting the most efficient method for evaluating many problems encountered in clinical medicine. The main advantage of nuclear medicine lies in demonstrating the pathophysiology involved. Recent developments in Doppler ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging with different pulse sequences and paramagnetic contrast agents also have shown promise for imaging physiological processes. However, there is little literature to support their advantage over nuclear medicine procedures in many common clinical situations. The complementary nature of nuclear medicine studies in the imaging evaluation of hydronephrosis, renal artery stenosis, flank pain, renal mass, pyelonephritis, and the transplant kidney is reviewed.