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DMSA Renal Scan — WR Pediatric Imaging Procedure

What is a DMSA renal scan? (Dimercaptosuccinic acid)

A DMSA renal scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure that is used to evaluate the anatomy and physiology of the kidneys.

Why would my doctor request a DMSA renal scan?

Your doctor can help assess:

  • Pyelonephritis
  • Relative (differential) renal function in the left and right kidneys
  • Renal ectopia
  • Infarction
  • Hypertension
  • Horseshoe kidney
  • Acute renal failure
  • Multicystic dysplastic kidneys
  • Trauma

How to prepare for a DMSA renal scan

There is no preparation needed for this test. Please be aware that between the DMSA injection time and the imaging time there is a 3 to 4 hour delay. In addition, the scan itself may take up to 30 minutes to one hour. Please schedule your day accordingly. Your child may bring a security blanket/toy to hold during the procedure.

How is a DMSA renal scan performed?

You will be greeted by one of our technologists who will explain to you/your child what will happen during the examination. A small amount of a radiopharmaceutical called Technetium-99m DMSA will be injected into one of your/your child’s veins. After the injection, you/your child will be free to leave the office and will be given a time to return for imaging, typically three to four hours after the injection. This delay allows the kidneys to absorb the radiopharmaceutical. When you return, you/your child will be asked to void and imaging will begin. Imaging will be approximately 30–60 minutes. It is important that you/your child remain as still as possible to allow for the best possible images.

What can be expected during the procedure?

You/your child may experience some discomfort associated with the insertion of the intravenous needle. The needle used for the procedure is very small. Once the radiopharmaceutical is injected, the needle is withdrawn and a gauze bandage with adhesive tape is placed over the site of the injection. The area where the injection was given may be a little sore.

Although the camera may appear large and intimidating, it does not touch you/your child.

What happens after the study?

Once the study is complete, it will be evaluated for quality. If there was too much motion, the study may need to be repeated. If there was no motion, you/your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.

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Did You Know?

Wake Radiology is local and locally owned.

provider-60-yearsWake Radiology is a physician-directed, independent practice based in the Triangle and focused on quality outpatient imaging. And, we’ve maintained that focus for more than 60 years.

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