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A DMSA renal scan is a nuclear medicine test that shows pictures of the kidneys and how they are working.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches DMSA renal scans
The Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging program at Children's is committed to providing a safe, comfortable and child-friendly atmosphere with:
A DMSA renal scan can help assess:
There is no special preparation needed for this test. Your child can eat or drink as usual.
Between the injection of the radioisotope and the scan, there is a three to four hour delay. In addition, the scan time is approximately 20 minutes. Please schedule your day accordingly.
When you arrive, please go to the Nuclear Medicine check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital. A clinical intake coordinator will check in your child and verify his or her registration information.
A DMSA renal scan involves three steps: injection of the radioisotope, a waiting period and the scan.
Injection of the radiopharmaceutical:
The DMSA renal scan:
The average imaging time is 15-20 minutes.
Your child may experience some discomfort associated with the insertion of the intravenous needle. The needle used for the procedure is small. Once the radiopharmaceutical is injected, the needle is withdrawn and bandaid is placed over the site of the injection. The area where the injection was given may be a little sore.
Although the camera used to take pictures may appear large and intimidating, it does not touch your child.
We are committed to ensuring that your child receives the smallest radiation dose needed to obtain the desired result.
Once the DMSA renal scan is complete, the images will be evaluated for quality. If the scan is adequate, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.
One of Children's nuclear medicine physicians will review your child's images and create a report of the findings and diagnosis.
The nuclear medicine physician will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child's DMSA renal scan. Your child's doctor will then discuss the results with you.
Department of Radiology
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