DMSA Renal Scan Information Sheet - Children

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What is a DMSA Renal Scan?

A DMSA scan shows us any scarring in the kidneys resulting from infection or reflux. The tracer we use is filtered from the bloodstream by functioning kidney tissue.

What preparation is required?

There is no specific preparation for this test – your child does not need to fast, or skip any medications. We recommend keeping your child well hydrated for the whole day of the test. This helps to improve the images and lower your child’s radiation dose.

What happens during the test?

There are two parts to every DMSA Renal Scan.

PART 1: Your child will be given a small injection of a radioactive tracer, usually into a vein in the arm, or sometimes the foot

WAIT: There is a 3-4hr wait for the tracer to be absorbed into the kidneys

PART 2: During the second part of the test we will image the kidneys from several different angles. You will be given the time for the second part when we do the initial injection.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects from the tracer injection, and no restrictions following the test. The amount of radiation used is quite small, and scaled down, based on height and weight.

How long will the test take?

Please allow about 30min for each part of the test. You are not required to stay in the hospital between the two parts.

For paediatric patients:

Please don’t apply any EMLA cream to your child. We perform these tests on young children every week, and our Nuclear Medicine Scientists are trained to perform these injections with a minimum of fuss and the smallest needle available. EMLA usually makes veins harder to find, making our job considerably harder. Most children do not experience much discomfort from the needles we use, without any anaesthetic cream. This is our preference; however please feel free to call us if you have any questions or concerns.

If you are / could be pregnant OR are breast-feeding please call us to discuss your options

It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you

Please feel free to call us on 6244 2439 if you have any questions or to reschedule


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