A DMSA renal scan evaluates the function, size, shape, and position of the kidneys. It is often used to detect scarring caused by frequent urinary tract or kidney infections.
The exam is done in two same day appointments spaced approximately two hours apart. During the first appointment, a radiopharmaceutical is given to your child intravenously. The injection of the medication is quick, and the IV catheter does not stay in after the injection. Our staff is well trained in the safe placement of IV’s and proper pain reduction techniques. We will work with you to limit the discomfort of this necessary part of the exam. Generally, we do not sedate patients for this exam, but if needed our team will communicate that prior to the exam.
You and your child will be free to leave the department and return two hours later for the actual imaging. This delay allows the kidneys to absorb the radiopharmaceutical. There are no eating/drinking, voiding, or activity restrictions during this time. You are permitted to leave the hospital. The technologist will give you an exact time to return for imaging.
Upon your return for the second appointment, your child will need to hold still on our imaging table for approximately one hour of imaging. We will use seatbelts, as needed, to assist and ensure your child’s safety on the imaging table. We have a wide variety of DVDs to choose from. You may accompany your child into the room for imaging.
Once the scan is complete, the images will be evaluated by a Radiologist. If the scan is satisfactory and no additional images are needed, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.