What is a DMSA scan?

A DMSA scan is a renal scan used to assess Pyelonephritis, renal scarring extent and location, as well as differential renal function in the left and right kidneys.

How should I prepare for a DMSA scan?

There are no restrictions for this test. Patients should be well hydrated and will be encouraged to drink extra fluids after the injection to reduce radiation exposure.

How long will the test take?

Once you enter the nuclear medicine department a technologist will explain the exam and inject a small amount of a radioactive isotope into a vein. There are no side effects to this injection. After the injection you are free to leave the department and will be given a time to return for imaging, generally 3 -4 hours after the injection. The delay allows the kidneys to absorb the isotope. When you return the technologist will have you empty your bladder and then ask you to lie onto our imaging table. There are two sets of images taken. The first set of images the camera rotates around your body for approximately 15 minutes. The next set of images is taken while you are lying on your stomach and takes approximately 25 minutes. This scan is typically scheduled on young patients and the parents can be in the imaging room the entire time.

How soon will the scan results be available?

A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via the internal computer system. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.

It is essential to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant before undergoing this scan because of radiation exposure.

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