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DMSA scan (dimercaptosuccinic acid)

A DMSA scan is an examination of the kidneys which gives information on their size, shape and position. Visit our website for more info and book online today.

What is a DMSA Scan?

This is an examination of the kidneys which gives information on their size, shape and position. Their function may also be measured. DMSA stands for dimercaptosuccinic acid. This substance has a radioactive tracer attached which localises in the kidneys and is detected (scanned) by a Gamma Camera.

What is this scan used for?

A DMSA scan looks at the size, shape and position of the kidneys. It can check for any scars or abnormal areas of development and find out how well one kidney is working compared to the other.

How can I prepare for this procedure?

  • Please eat normally and hydrate well.
  • You do not need a full bladder for this procedure.
  • You will not need to undress as long as there are no metal items on your clothing.
  • If there is any chance you could be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, please inform the Department at least 24 hours before your appointment.

What happens during the procedure?

  • There are two appointment times for this scan.
  • At your first appointment a small amount of radioactive tracer will be injected into a vein in your arm or hand, which is like having a blood test. The tracer takes two hours to localise in the kidneys.
  • You can leave the hospital and return at your second appointment time for the scan.
  • The scan of 30 minutes will take place at your second appointment time
  • You will be lying down for your scan, but you will not be totally enclosed.
  • When the scan has finished you may go home.
  • There are no restrictions regarding driving. 

Paying for your procedure

The costs of a DMSA scan are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own scan, please ask for the cost of the procedure to be explained when you book the appointment.

How can I book a DMSA scan?

A DMSA scan is something that will be recommended by your Consultant, at which point our team will arrange an appointment for you. 
If you think you may need a DMSA scan and you aren’t speaking to one of our Consultants yet, book an initial consultation using our online booking portal. If you need a DMSA scan, they will arrange it for you.