Nuclear Medicine and Endocrinology

Chatswood Nuclear Medicine & Endocrinology
Grafton Nuclear Medicine & Endocrinology

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DMSA scan showing kidney infection

Pyelonephritis and Renal Scarring

Diuretic renal scan showing obstruction

PUJ Obstruction of the Right Kidney

Renal Scans

There are 3 commonly-performed types of renal scans: 

• DMSA Renal Cortical Scans
• DTPA and MAG-3 Renal Scans
• ACE Inhibitor Renal Scans

All renal scans are bulk-billed.

These scans require the patient to be well-hydrated, and patients are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids before the procedure. The tracers do not cause significant side effects and can be safely used in patients with kidney failure.

DMSA Renal Cortical Scans are commonly performed in patients with recurrent urine infection to check if there has been spread to the kidneys. It can also detect chronic scarring from previous infections. It allows an accurate calculation of the ratio of functioning tissue in each kidney. Technetium-99m DMSA is used as the tracer. After injection, patients are asked to return in 3 hours for a 30-minute scan.

DTPA and MAG-3 Renal Scans are performed to assess the blood flow, function and drainage of the kidneys. They are often undertaken in patients with enlarged kidneys who are suspected of having obstruction of the drainage system. Technetium-99m DTPA and MAG-3 are used as the tracers. Following injection, these tracers are taken up by the kidneys and excreted in urine. The initial scans take 30 minutes to complete. A diuretic medication is often then given followed by a further 20 minutes of scanning.

ACE Inhibitor Renal Scans are useful in patients with high blood pressure. The kidneys are responsible for regulating blood pressure, which is worsened if there are blockages in the renal arteries. The scan is able to detect if unblocking these arteries will result in improvements in the blood pressure. Following an initial DTPA or MAG-3 Renal Scan (see above), patients return for a subsequent scan performed under the effect of an ACE Inhibitor medication.

Common Nuclear Medicine Scans

Bone ScansCardiac ScansLung ScansThyroid / Parathyroid ScansRenal ScansGastrointestinal ScansHepatic / Biliary ScansCerebral ScansEndocrine Tumour ScansInfection ScansLymphatic Scans