MAG3 or DTPA Renal Scan Information Sheet

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What is a MAG3 or DTPA Renal Scan?

A Renal scan shows us how well the kidneys are functioning, including whether one works harder than the other, if one is not getting as much blood, and if there are any blockages. The tracer we use is filtered from the bloodstream by functioning kidney tissue, and then excreted into the bladder. MAG3 and DTPA are two different tracers that we use, depending on your individual case.

What preparation is required?

You do not need to fast, or skip any medications.

Please drink at least 500ml of fluid in the 2 hours before your test, and more if possible. We do not need a full bladder, so please go to the bathroom as needed. Do not drink large amounts of tea or coffee before your test – these dehydrate your body, which can make the test inaccurate.

What happens during the test?

You will be given a small injection of a radioactive tracer, usually into a vein in the arm, hand or sometimes the foot. Imaging begins immediately, as the kidneys start to filter the blood within a minute after injection. These images go for 30min.

We then often give an injection of ‘Lasix’, which forces the kidneys to work harder. We take more images for 30min after this. This helps to diagnose any serious blockages in the tubes leaving the kidneys. We may need a delayed image about 4hrs after your injection.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects from the tracer injection, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation used is quite small.

How long will the test take?

Please allow about 90min for the whole test. If we need you to return for delayed images, they will only take 5min.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Your doctors may have requested that you undergo this examination while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctors will have considered and discussed the risks and benefits of having the scan to the health of both you and your baby.

As part of the procedure you will be given the opportunity to further discuss any concerns that you may have including the potential risks and benefits with one of our staff members.

This examination may have been deemed suitable for you to undergo while you are breastfeeding. You will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours following the administration of the radiotracer. It is advised that you express and discard your breast milk during this period. You may resume routine breast feeding after 12 hours. Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.

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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