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A glomerular filtration rate test (GFR) is a nuclear medicine test that measures the function of the kidneys.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches GFRs
The Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging program at Children's is committed to providing a safe, comfortable, and child-friendly atmosphere with:
A glomerular filtration rate test (GFR) is a measure of the function of your kidneys. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidney that allow waste products to be removed from the blood. The rate refers to the amount of blood that is filtered per minute.
A radiopharmaceutical called Technetium-99m DTPA is injected into one of your child's veins. Technetium-99m DTPA has a tiny amount of radioactive molecules in it.
After the injection, a 10 second picture of the injection site will be obtained. You will then be instructed to return to Nuclear Medicine for your child's blood to be drawn two, three and four hours after the injection.
The GFR allows the nuclear medicine physician to assess the degree of kidney impairment and to follow the course of kidney disease. However, the GFR provides no information on the cause of the kidney disease.
A GFR test can help measure kidney function in:
No preparation is necessary. Keep in mind that this test requires a five hour time commitment, so please plan your day accordingly.
When you arrive, please go to the Nuclear Medicine check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital. A clinical intake coordinator will check in your child and verify his or her registration information.
Your child may experience some discomfort associated with the insertion of the intravenous needle(s). The needle used for the procedure is small. Once the radiopharmaceutical is injected, the needle is withdrawn and a bandaid is placed over the site of the injection. The area where the injection was given may be a little sore.
We are committed to ensuring that your child receives the smallest radiation dose needed to obtain the desired result.
Once the study is complete, you and your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.
The GFR study will be processed and the nuclear medicine physician will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child's GFR. Your child's doctor will then discuss the results with you.
Department of Radiology
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”