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A DMSA Renal Scan tests how your child’s kidneys are working.  It shows the size, shape and position of your child’s kidneys and may be done if your child has had one or more kidney infections.


The scan is done in two  parts and will take about 3-4 hours to complete.  One parent or guardian may always stay with the child. Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.  Eating and drinking are not allowed in the room.

There is no further preparation for this test. Your child can eat and drink as usual.

What to expect

Part 1

Your child will need Intravenous (IV) access for this procedure.  An IV is a needle inserted into a vein most often in the arm or back of the hand. A very small amount of radioactive medicine will be injected through the IV. This medicine allows us to take pictures of your child’s kidneys during the second part of the test.  We need to wait 2-3 hours for this medicine go to your child’s kidneys and give us the best pictures. Your child can leave the department after the needle, and you will be told when to return for the pictures (scan).

Part 2

The scan will take about 1 hour to complete. Your child will be asked to lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will be placed across their across their body for safety and to help them remain still while pictures are taken. Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted.

Post test

It is important to give your child extra fluids for the rest of the day to keep them hydrated and help the medicine leave the body quicker.

The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test.  A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 2-3 business days. 

Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.

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