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Test: DMSA Scanning

To look for scarring in the kidneys, a type of radionuclide scanning called dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scanning is used. In this procedure, which takes place in hospital, a small amount of radioactive DMSA is injected into a vein in the arm. After 2 hours, the DMSA collects in the kidneys and images of the organs are taken with a gamma camera. The scan takes about 30 minutes and is painless.

During the procedure

Your child will need to lie very still while the radiographer watches the images on the monitor screen. You should be able to stay with your child during the scanning.

Results

Radionuclide scan of kidneys

In this scan of a child’s kidneys, one of the kidneys is normal but the other has become shrunken and scarred as a result of recurrent infections.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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