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Renal DMSA Study


  • You have been referred for a Renal DMSA study to look at the health of your renal tissue.

  • A Renal DMSA study produces a map of functioning renal tissue, useful in assessing cortical masses or scarring.

  • The test can assess what percentage each kidney contributes to your total kidney function.

  • Upon arrival to the department, a small butterfly needle is injected into a vein in your arm.

  • A small amount of “tracer” is injected through this butterfly needle.

  • The tracer we use is called 99mTc-DMSA (99m-Technetium dimercaptosuccinic acid).

  • 99mTc-DMSA accumulates in the renal tubules.

  • There are rarely any side effects with the injection.

  • Imaging of both kidneys occurs 3 hours after the tracer has been injected using a Gamma Camera(1).

  • ​Imaging can take anything from 15 to 30 minutes.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a Renal DMSA Study ~ up to 1.2 times your yearly background radiation (2).


Patient Preparation:

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • There is no preparation for this test.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you need to stop breast-feeding for two feeds. During this time, you need to express and discard your breast milk. You will need to bottle-feed your child during this period.


(1) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(2) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. Renal DMSA Study ~ 2.9mSv = 1.208 times yearly background dose.

value. quality care. convenience.

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