Kidney Scans

There are various different kinds of kidney scans with different procedures and different purposes. If you should need to undergo one, this is what to expect.

Different Types of Renal Scans 

DMSA scan
DTPA/MAG3 renogram
Captopril renogram
Chromium-51 EDTA kidney function study

DMSA Scan 

This scan will enable the physician to see which parts of the kidneys are damaged due to scarring caused by urinary tract infection and to assess the renal function of the kidneys.  

DTPA/MAGA Renogram

This test checks the function of the kidneys and can discover the extent of any blockage to the flow of urine out of the kidneys. After a small injection, you will lie down on a couch with a gamma camera on your stomach area, which will take images of the tracer passing though your kidneys. 

The procedure takes about half an hour during which time it is paramount that you remain still in order to obtain the most accurate results. You need to drink a lot of water beforehand and also empty your bladder as the procedure can make it fill quickly.

Captopril Renogram 

This scan allows for the detection of possible narrowing of the blood vessels supplying blood to the kidneys and also monitors the function of the kidneys.

The procedure is similar to that for the DTPA/MAGA renogram, but before the 30-minute scan you will be given medication and your blood pressure will be monitored for an hour. Do drink a lot of water before the scan to ensure a more accurate scan. 

If the renogram is positive, you will need to return another day for a second test, though this one will not require the medication and blood pressuring monitoring.

Chromium-51 EDTA Kidney Function Study
This scan provides a detailed picture of the filtration rate and function of the kidneys.

After having your height and weight measured, a small three-way injection plug will be inserted into a vein in your arm and chromium-51 will be injected via this plug. You are then free for the next three hours. You will have to return twice: three hours and four hours after the injection, when blood samples will be taken via the plug, a process that will take about 10 minutes each time. Again you will need to drink a lot of water before and during the procedure.

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