DMSA renal scan is a nuclear scan that uses tiny amounts of radioactive materials (radioisotopes) to take pictures of the kidney. DMSA is the radioisotope used to do the scan.

The radioisotope is given by intravenous (IV) injection. The radioisotopes give off signals. A special camera and computer make images of the signals as they appear three hours after the injection.
 
Patient Information
Plan to be at Hartford Hospital for up to four hours. An intravenous (IV) line is a very tiny tube that is usually placed in the hand, arm or foot. The IV is then held in place with tape and sometimes protected by an arm board. The IV will be used to give radioisotope, sedatives and/or intravenous fluids. The exam takes about one hour.

You will be imaged shortly after injection of the radiopharmaceutical. Preeparation may take about a half-hour, and the imaging procedure takes about one half hour.

The patient may leave the hospital after the injection and return for the rest of the test about three hours later.
 
No radiation is emitted from the machine. Radioactive materials used for the test have been designed to be maximally safe for humans. Most radioisotopes do not remain active in the body for more than 24 hours. The body gets rid of these radioisotopes in urine or stool.
 
Before the Procedure
 
Adults
No medication, fasting or special diets are needed. Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

Parent of children who need procedural sedation
  • If your child is less than 2 years old, he may have solid foods or milk 6 hours before the exam time. He may have clear liquids 3 hours before the exam time. He may have no food or drink after that.
  • If your child is 2 years old or older, she may have solid foods or milk 8 hours before the exam time. She may have clear liquids 3 hours before the exam time. She may have no food or drink after that.

Afterwards
Following the exam, you may go home and continue your regular activities.