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DMSA scan / Renal cortical scan: Instructions

The doctors have suggested a DMSA scan for you. The scan is a very sensitive way of showing if there is any scarring in the kidneys. This scan is usually done after UTI episode (s).

What is the procedure of this scan?

You are requested to arrive in Nuclear Medicine department, Manipal Hospital, Dwarka on ________ (date) at ________ (time). There is no requirement of fasting for this scan. We will record brief clinical history, measure weight & height before starting the scan procedure.

The patient is allowed to eat and drink throughout the day. It is extremely important that patient is well hydrated. PLEASE BRING PLENTY OF DRINKS TO CONSUME PRIOR TO AND DURING THE SCAN.

Possibility of side-effects

There are no side-effects of the radioisotope but as it can take up to 24 hours to discard from the body. The radioisotope is passed through your urine, hence, we would like you to drink more water than usual after the scan.

Note: Please carry extra diapers for your child for the purpose of this scan.


A small amount of radioisotope will be injected into your vein through the cannula. Then, you have to wait for a period of around 2-3 hours as the radioisotope needs time to be taken up by the kidneys. After that, scan lasting approximately 15-20 minutes will be acquired. During scan acquisition, you are required to lie reasonably still. The children may be given a sedative prior to the scan. Babies under the age of 6 months or children over the age of 4 years are generally not sedated.

After the Procedure

When the scan is complete, the cannula will be removed and you can go home. Children who have been sedated will be observed until they are completely awake, eating, drinking and steady on their feet.

What are the possible side-effects of the scan?

There are no side effects of the radioisotope but it can take up to 24 hours to discard from the body. We would like you to drink more than usual after the scan and pass urine frequently.

Shall I bring previous lab and radiology reports on the day of the scan?

Yes, you should bring previous DMSA scan and reports (if available) for comparison purposes. Also, bring the recent radiology (ultrasound, x-ray, CT scan etc) and laboratory (blood & urine test) reports on the day of the scan.

What are the benefits of a DMSA scan?

The scan will determine the differential function of individual kidneys and evidence of scarring, if any.

When can I expect the results of DMSA Scan?

You will receive the results at 5 PM on the same day. The report will be accompanied with scan films.

*If you have any further questions, Please feel free to contact the Nuclear Medicine Department, Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka on 011-41274257, 011-41274251 between 9 AM – 5 PM (Monday-Saturday).




Consultant and Head
Nuclear Medicine
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