A DMSA scan is a radionuclide scan that uses dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) in assessing renal morphology, structure and function. Radioactive technetium-99m is combined with DMSA and injected into a patient, followed by imaging with a gamma camera after 2-3 hours. A DMSA scan is usually static imaging, while other radiotracers like DTPA and MAG3 are usually used for dynamic imaging to assess renal excretion.
The major clinical indications for this investigation are
Procedure: Patient is injected with 2-5 mCi of Technetium-99m DMSA intravenously and static imaging is done using Gamma camera after 2-3 hours. Imaging time is approximately 5 - 10 minutes depending on the views taken. Usually, posterior and oblique views are a must for better interpretation of the scan. Patient is asked to maintain good hydration before and after the radiotracer injection by drinking water or intravenous fluid administration, if patient cannot drink water for any reason. Usually fasting is not required for scanning purpose and patients can have light breakfast in the morning of the scan day.
The technetium-99m DMSA binds to the proximal convoluted tubules in kidney so the excretion pattern of the kidneys cannot be assessed by this for which renal dynamic scans using radiotracers like DTPA, MAG3 are used.