Health Library
Nuclear Cystogram

What is a Nuclear Cystogram?

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses a small amount of a radioactive medicine to look at different organs of the body. The cameras image the radioactive medicine. The imaging shows how your body is working rather than what it looks like.

What is a Nuclear Cystogram?

A Nuclear Cystogram is an exam that checks for kidney reflux (urine moving backwards from the bladder to the kidneys.) The patient will receive a catheter to fill the bladder. A catheter is a small, soft, flexible tube that is placed where urine leaves the body.

Before the Exam

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to the appointment time.
  • No special patient preparation is required.
  • Patient may continue to take all medications prescribed by their doctor.
  • You should expect to be at the hospital for approximately one hour for this exam.
  • Child Life Specialists may be available to provide preparation and support during the exam.
  • If you need to change or cancel your appointment please call (513) 636-3200.

During the Exam

  • A parent or caregiver can stay with the patient during the exam.
  • The patient will lie down on the bed.
  • The patient’s privacy will be respected and maintained with the use of sheets or towels.
  • The opening urine leaves the body (urethra) will be cleaned with special soap.
  • A small, soft, flexible tube (catheter) is slipped through the opening and into the bladder.
  • Water containing the radioactive medicine is used to fill the bladder through the catheter.
  • After the bladder is full the patient will pee around the catheter in a diaper or sitting up into a special toilet if they are potty trained.
  • While the bladder is filling up and while the patient is urinating, pictures will be taken.
  • At the end of the exam the catheter is removed.
  • There are no side effects or reactions to the radioactive medicine.

After The Exam

  • The patient can resume normal activities.
  • The patient may complain of discomfort with peeing. Drinking more fluids can help lessen this sensation.
  • The patient’s pee could have a pink color. If this lasts more than 24 hours then call the ordering doctor’s office.
  • Results will be sent to your physician’s office and are usually available within 24 hours.

Radiation Safety

The radioactive medicine decays over time and is mostly cleared through the urine. If your child is wearing diapers wash your hands after changing and dispose as normal.

If a parent or caregiver is pregnant, it is safe to be with the patient during and after the exam. The camera is not giving off any radiation like an X-ray or a CT scan. The camera only sees the radioactive medicine that was given.

Last Updated 12/2021

Reviewed By Job MacLean

Contact Us

Contact us.

For more information or to request an appointment, contact the Division of Urology.

Contact Us