Radiology

DMSA Scan

DSMA Scan
DSMA Scan
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What is a DMSA scan?

What should you do prior to the exam?

What should you do when you arrive?

What should you expect during the exam?

What should you do after the exam?

Test results

What is a DMSA scan?

A DMSA scan evaluates the size, shape and position of the kidneys. It is also used to detect any scarring in the kidneys caused by frequent infections.

This exam requires the use of a radiopharmaceutical through an IV catheter.

What should you do prior to the exam?

This test does not permit any movement. Your child will need to hold still for about an hour. You may want to practice with your child.

If your child requires sedation you will receive additional instructions to follow.

Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are easily removed. Your child may be given a gown to change into for the procedure.

We have a large variety of video entertainment to choose from, however, your child can also bring along his/her favorite video or DVD to watch during the exam.

You may want to bring a snack or drink for your child to have after the exam.

Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany the child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.

What should you do when you arrive?

If your appointment is scheduled at the Main Hospital:

You must check in to Outpatient Registration, on the third floor of the Main Hospital, 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, the Nuclear Medicine Department will be notified. A technologist or nurse will come out to the central registration area and bring you and your child to a room for IV placement.

If your appointment is scheduled at the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia:

You must check in at the main registration desk, located in the main waiting room, 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, you will be directed to the Radiology waiting room. The Nuclear Medicine technologist will be notified and a technologist or nurse will come out to the Radiology waiting room and bring you and your child to a room for IV placement.

What should you expect during the exam?

A technologist or nurse will place an IV in your child for the radiopharmaceutical (tracer) injection needed for this exam. This IV tube will be placed in the child's arm, hand, or foot. Your child will only feel a little discomfort, like a mild pinch. Once the child has proper IV access, the procedure can begin.

 The technologist will ask why the DMSA scan is being done, and explain the study to you and your child. The technologist will inject the tracer through the IV line.

Your child is then allowed to take a break. During the break, you and your child may leave the Nuclear Medicine department if you wish. The technologist will tell you what time you need to return to the department for the imaging portion of the test.

The set of delayed images will begin anywhere from 2 to 4 hours after the tracer is given. Upon return your child will be placed on the table on their stomach, with the camera above. Five pictures will be taken, lasting 10 minutes each. Your child must lie absolutely still or images may be unreadable. The nuclear medicine physician may then require additional imaging, after viewing the initial images.

Sedation is an option for the delayed imaging portion of the test for young patients and those unable to hold still.

Child Life Specialists are available to answer questions you might have about how to prepare and support your child during the procedure. A child life specialist can also be present at the time of your child's appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways using well established preparation materials. The specialist can also be available to help implement distraction techniques to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience. Please call 215-590-2001 or click the link above for more information. If your child's procedure is scheduled for the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia, you can call the Child Life Specialist directly at 215-590-3069.

What should you do after the exam?

There are no special instructions for your child to follow upon completion of this procedure.

Test results

The images from your child's exam are interpreted on the same day and a report is sent to your physician's office.

If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 215-590-2584.

Here is an example of what your child's scan may look like.

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