DTPA/ DMSA/ Isotope studies

paediatric urology surgery
paediatric urology surgery

DTPA and DMSA are types of renal scans. They are used to scan as well as examine the kidney and relative area for extracting the damages and risk casualties.

What is DTPA?

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA) or MAG3 renogram refers to the process of renal scanning used for examining the kidney’s function. It is done to check the blood flow, the function of the kidney, relative functions, and to find abnormalities & blockage of urine flow.

What is DMSA?

DMSA is a radionuclide procedure that uses dimercaptosuccinic acid for scanning the kidney which helps to analyze the kidney’s location. It also identifies any damages, potential infections, and risks. It is a short-lived radioisotope that goes directly into the kidney and lasts for only a few hours.

Why does one need a renal scan?

One needs a renal scan when the kidney stops performing its functions.

The function of a kidney is to-

  • Remove waste products from the blood through urination
  • Maintain a balance between potassium and sodium in the blood
  • Supply required hormones for the growth of blood cells
  • Control blood pressure
  • Provide calcium supplying hormone for the bones

Renal scans, DMSA, and DTPA are used for accessing the function of the kidney and blood flow. They help to evaluate the reason for the issues such as-

  • Tumor or cysts in the kidney
  • Decreased blood flow to kidneys
  • Kidney diseases
  • High blood pressure in the renal arteries
  • Rejection of kidney transplant

The Preparation of the scan

For DMSA, the patient is asked to drink lots of water before the procedure.

For DTPA, the patient is asked to drink lots of water and then empty the bladder before the procedure. This is because, during the procedure, the bladder might fill rapidly.

The procedure of DTPA

The patient is asked to lie down on a flat imaging surface and a Gamma camera is placed on the abdominal. The patient is then given an intravenous injection containing radioactive material. The camera starts taking pictures of the kidney from different angles and the computer monitors the pictures. For the process to take place smoothly, the patient is required to stay still.

The procedure of DMSA-

An injection of radiopharmaceutical is given to the patient 3 hours before the procedure. The patient is also asked to drink plenty of fluids. The time is given to allow the kidney to take up the tracer and for the radiopharmaceutical to clear from other body tissues.

The patient is asked to empty his bladder and lie down in a still position on a flat imaging surface. The Gamma camera takes pictures of the kidney from different angles.
After the procedure, the chemical is removed from the body through urination.

Risks involved-

There are no side effects of any of these procedures but one might feel dizzy, or light-headed during the procedure. There’s a small chance of getting an allergic or adverse reaction to the medications. There also might be a small amount of ionizing radiation which may be harmful to children if used in an inappropriate amount.

Benefits of having a scan-

These tests help to evaluate the normal functioning of tissues of the kidneys. It helps the doctors to examine and monitor the functioning of the kidneys and find the reason for the infection. This is also done to check the effects of kidney transplants and check if the kidney is working properly.