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DMSA Renal Cortical Scan

5000+ scans done & counting

DMSA Renal Cortical Scan is a medical diagnostic procedure that helps in evaluating the health and function of the kidneys. The term 'DMSA' refers to Dimercaptosuccinic Acid, a substance that is used as a radiotracer in this scan. When DMSA is combined with a small amount of radioactivity, it can be traced within the body. This scan specifically looks at the renal cortex, which is the outer part of the kidneys where essential functions such as filtration and reabsorption take place.Kidneys are vital organs in the human body that filter waste products from the blood and help regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production, and the levels of calcium and minerals. The DMSA Renal Cortical Scan is used to assess the kidneys' structure and evaluate their function. This is especially important in identifying any damage or scarring that may have occurred in the kidneys due to various conditions such as infections, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

The scan uses a small amount of radioactive DMSA, which is injected into the bloodstream. The DMSA is taken up by the kidneys, and a special camera called a gamma camera is used to take pictures of the kidneys. These images can help the doctor to see the size, position, shape, and function of the kidneys.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Book your convenient slot
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Download Reports

Note: Home Sample Collection is only for Pathology lab tests.

Specific Instructions:

  • Fasting : Fasting is not usually required for a DMSA Renal Cortical Scan.
  • Medications : Inform your doctor of any medications you are taking as some medications might interfere with the test results.
  • Allergies : It is important to tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to iodine or any contrast material.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding : If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, notify your doctor as the radioactive material used could affect the fetus or be passed through breast milk.
  • Hydration :You may be advised to drink water before the scan as it helps in obtaining clearer images and helps the kidneys to take up the DMSA.
  • The patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive DMSA.
  • After the injection, there is usually a waiting period of 2-3 hours before images are taken. This allows the DMSA to be properly absorbed by the kidneys.
  • The patient will lie on an examination table, and a gamma camera will take images of the kidneys. The process of taking images usually takes about an hour.

This scan is particularly important for:

  • Detecting structural abnormalities in the kidneys.
  • Evaluating kidney function, particularly in the cortex.
  • Identifying scarring or damage to the kidneys due to recurrent infections or other conditions.
  • Monitoring the progression of kidney diseases.
  • Evaluating the kidneys after a transplant.
Frequently Asked Questions

Your doctor might recommend a DMSA Renal Cortical Scan if you have symptoms or a medical history that suggests kidney dysfunction or damage. This includes high blood pressure, diabetes, recurrent urinary tract infections, or a family history of kidney disease.

  • It provides detailed images of the kidneys.
  • It helps in the detection of scars, damage, or structural abnormalities in the kidneys.
  • It assesses the relative function of each kidney.

Modifiable factors:

  • Certain medications can affect kidney function and might interfere with the test results.

Non-modifiable factors:

  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes can affect kidney function.
  • Age, as kidney function changes with age

If there are abnormalities in the results of the DMSA Renal Cortical Scan, it is important to consult a nephrologist, a doctor who specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys.

Yes, the amount of radiation used is very small and the benefits of the scan outweigh the risks.

No, apart from a small needle prick for the injection, the scan is painless.

The whole procedure usually takes about 3-4 hours including the waiting time.

No, it is not necessary unless you want someone to accompany you.

You should follow the instructions provided by your healthcare facility. Usually, there is no special preparation needed.

Yes, eating and drinking restrictions are generally not required unless instructed otherwise.

You can usually go home and return to normal activities unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.

The results will be sent to your doctor who will discuss them with you.

Yes, but it’s particularly important that the healthcare team knows the child’s exact weight to ensure the correct dosage of the radiotracer.

It's essential to inform the doctor if you are or might be pregnant, as radiation can be harmful to the developing baby.

DMSA Renal Cortical Scan is an invaluable tool in the evaluation of kidney function and structure. It uses a small amount of radioactive material to create images of the kidneys. It's relatively simple and carries minimal risks. Being well-informed about the procedure can help in better preparation and a more relaxed experience.

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