DMSA scan Imaging testing

An imaging test, such as a DMSA scan, employs specialized equipment to take one or more images of a specific area of the interior of the body.


Concerning the urinary system


In order for us to develop and maintain our health, the urinary system eliminates substances that the body no longer requires.


Organs with a bean shape are the kidneys. Blood is filtered to eliminate excess water and waste from urine (wee). We typically have two kidneys. They are located at the bottom border of our ribs in the back, on either side of our spine (backbone).


Long tubes known as the ureters transport urine from the bladder to the kidneys.


Urine is kept in the bladder until we’re ready to pee. It rests on the floor of the pelvic.


The urethra is indeed a tube that connects the urine to the exterior of the body to transport pee.


Describe a DMSA scan.


Your youngster receives an injection of a substance called dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). Some of his or her body’s cells, including the kidney cells, absorb this substance. A radioisotope and DMSA are connected. Gamma rays are a sort of radiation (source of energy) that it emits (gives off).


  • Gamma rays are picked up by a specialized camera during the scan and converted into images.


  • The “active” kidney cells (living tissue) absorb DMSA and release gamma rays. These appear as “hot spots” on the photos and might be bright or coloured.


Why is my kid required to take this test?


With the use of a DMSA scan, you may examine the size, shape, and placement of your child’s kidneys, search for any scars or atypical developmental patterns, and determine how well each kidney is functioning in comparison to the others.

Risks and difficulties


How do gamma rays work?

One kind of ionizing radiation, or a sort of energy, is gamma rays. Because they may harm cells, the living components of the body, they can be harmful to people at large concentrations.

Ionizing radiation is a risk to everyone. It can be found in some building materials and can leak into structures from the ground. It can also be consumed through certain meals and on flights. But they are quite low amounts.


Are DMSA scans harmful?


The radiation (dose) from a DMSA scan is equivalent to what we would be introduced to over the course of six months to a year. The radioisotope that is put into your child’s bloodstream eventually deactivates and leaves the body through urine or feces (poo). To be sure, your doctor will carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of administering this test to your kid.


How to become ready for your child


Normally, there is nothing your kid has to do in advance of this test, but your doctor will let you know. This examination lasts several hours. You might wish to bring your child’s favorite books or toys due to the lengthy waits. If your kid is allergic to any drugs or contrast dye that may be used during the test, your doctor may inquire.


Older girls could be questioned about when their last period was and whether they are currently on their period. They could also be questioned about whether they are pregnant or think they might be. This is so that unborn children won’t be harmed by ionizing radiation from X-rays. In order to ensure your child’s bladder is empty before the scan, you could sometimes ask them to use the restroom just before the scan.


A play expert may be able to assist your kid prepare for the exam using dolls and other toys during their meeting.


What occurs


The DMSA scan is performed in your hospital’s nuclear medicine division. The exam is carried out by a technician or radiographer who has received training in imaging procedures.


  • Using a needle or a tiny plastic tube known as a cannula, the radioisotope is put into a blood artery. Usually, this occurs in the hand, arm, or foot. Your youngster could have a needle-induced scrape. Before placing the needle or cannula, a local anesthetic, such as a spray or lotion, can be applied to your child’s skin to make the region feel numb.
  • The radioisotope takes some time to go to the kidneys. After waiting for around three hours, your kid will return to the nuclear medicine department.


  • Your youngster lays on a scanning bed while being scanned.


  • Your infant must remain still while being photographed from above by a giant camera. These demonstrate the radioisotope that the individual’s kidneys have absorbed.


What to anticipate after that


After the test, your kid could be instructed to drink a lot of water. This will hasten the process of “flushing out” the DMSA from his or her body. In most cases, your child can leave right away for home.


For 24 hours following the test, there can be a trace quantity of DMSA in your child’s urine.


  • The next day after the test, your child should use the restroom and sit in the bathroom to urinate (wee).Make sure that they perform a thorough hand wash with soap and water.


  • If your child wears diapers, store the used ones in a clear bag for 24 hours before disposing of them with the rest of your trash. Do not neglect to clean your hands with warm water and soap.


  • In the event that your child unintentionally wets his or her bedding or clothes, place them in a plastic baggie for 24 hours before washing them as usual.


  • For 24 hours, pregnant mothers should stay away from direct touch with the child’s feces or urine.


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