Renal DTPA Scan
What is Renal DTPA scan?
Renal DTPA scan is a kidney diagnosis test that examines or assesses the functioning and condition of the kidneys. A renal scan involves the use of nuclear radioactive material called a radioisotope that is inserted into the body by injecting the medicine into the vein. The material or radioisotope releases gamma rays in the kidney area which are traced and detected by a gamma camera or scanner with a computer from outside the body making images. These images show both the structure and functioning of the kidneys based on their reaction to the radioactive material. This test evaluates how the left and right kidneys function comparatively by evaluating the supply of blood, excretion of urine, and drainage pattern and further identifies any sites of blockage or obstruction.
The full form of DTPA Renal scan is Diethylenetriamine Pentaacetic Acid renal scan. It is also called a renal scan, renal scintigraphy, nuclear renal imaging, or a renogram. The doctor recommends renal scan as it provides a more accurate and precise diagnosis that other forms of renal imaging, such as CT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs can’t provide. The test uses painless and non-invasive technology that helps in detecting all kinds of abnormalities in the kidneys. It not only helps doctors diagnose a kidney problem in its earlier stages but also plays a key role in deciding the right treatment.
Why do you need a renal DTPA scan?
The renal scan helps in the evaluation of kidney functions and identification of the causes of reduced kidney function such as:
- Renovascular hypertension or high blood pressure in the renal arteries
- The arteries taking blood to the kidneys become narrow called Renal Artery Stenosis
- Hydronephrosis or blocked and interrupted urine flow
- Kidney abscesses
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Renal transplant function and perfusion or how well the kidneys function after treatment or transplant
How should you prepare for a Renal DTPA scan?
There are no special preparations required for a renal scan. The patient can consume a regular diet. However, the patient may be advised to keep certain things in mind such as :
- The patient needs to bring along the doctor’s prescription and previous scan reports if s/he has any.
If the patient is taking any prescription or medications, s/he should inform the doctor taking at the time of booking the appointment. The doctor will give special instructions in case the medications can affect the results of the renal scan.
- The patient should take a lot of fluid or water and be well-hydrated prior to taking the scan.
The patient should avoid wearing jewellery or metal objects at the time of the scan as it may interfere with the test.
- If the patient is pregnant or is expecting, the doctor should be informed about it before taking an appointment. Renal scan is generally not recommended for pregnant women.
- In the case of lactating women, it should be conveyed before any radioactive substances are excreted in breast milk. The doctor will instruct on when to resume breastfeeding at the time of booking the appointment.
If the patient requires more information about the test, s/he needs to consult the doctor when booking the appointment, who will give you the needed instructions.
What happens during a renal scan?
The test or the renal scan is an outpatient procedure that is performed on the same day and does not require the patient to stay at the hospital overnight. The test normally takes between 30 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the reason for taking the scan. The procedure follows as:
- The patient will be asked to change into a hospital gown and then lie down on a scanning table.
- The technician will insert an intravenous line into a vein in the arm through which a radioactive material called radioisotope will be injected.
- The patient is required to stay still as any movement can blur the image the scanner creates.
- The technician will remove the intravenous line once the scan is done. The patient can get changed and leave the hospital.
- The patient can return to the normal diet and daily routine post-test. S/he is advised to drink lots of fluid and urinate often to help remove the radioactive material naturally from the body.
After the test, the doctor will go through the comprehensive report and will discuss the results with the patient. Since a change in the functioning of the kidneys often does not exhibit symptoms, a renal scan is an effective method to diagnose and identify the cause of reduced kidney function. However, the doctor may prescribe the patient for further diagnosis as the renal DTPA scan is unable to make a distinction between a tumor and a cyst.
What are the risks associated with Renal DTPA scans?
Renal scan is usually considered safe with no significant risks. However, some possible risks may include :
- Radiation exposure
The radioactive material exposes the body to harmful radiation just like any other imaging test. However, the amount of radiation exposure in a renal scan is less than in an X-ray and passes from the body naturally within 24 hours leaving no long-term negative effects.
In case of pregnancy or the possibility of being pregnant, the patient should inform the doctor about the situation. The renal scan is not recommended for pregnant women and the doctor will prescribe another test in order to save the foetus from harmful radiation.
Despite the fact that the radiation exposure is minimal and short-term, a lactating patient should inform the doctor to ensure that the breast milk is not contaminated as that could be harmful to the baby.
- Allergic reactions
In rare cases, the radioisotopes can lead to allergic reactions which can be caused by the tracer administered in the vein before the scan begins. However, radioisotopes has fewer risks of allergic reactions than intravenous dyes.
How much does Renal DTPA Scan cost?
The cost of Renal DTPA scan varies from one hospital to another hospital due to various reasons. At Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre you can be assured of the best price for your DTPA renal scan. Book an appointment here.
Meet the medical specialists at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad
Dr. Ravinder Singh Bhadoria (Senior Consultant, Nephrology & Kidney Transplantation)
Dr. Ravinder Singh Bhadoria is a dedicated nephrologist. He is highly trained and has worked with some of the best nephrologists at various hospitals and clinical establishments of Delhi NCR. He has an experience of 15 years in neurosurgery and his expertise lies in the management of critically ill nephrology patients, general nephrology patients, patients with Stage-V CKD, and renal transplantation.
Dr. Vaibhav Saxena (Senior Consultant & Head, Urology, Uro-Oncology & Renal Transplant)
Dr. Vaibhav Saxena is a passionate and dedicated Urologist, Andrologist, and Uro-Onco Surgeon at Yashoda Hospital, Ghaziabad. He has worked for more than 18 years in the medical field including 12 years as a super-specialist. He pursued his interest in minimally invasive urology and urological cancer surgery and did observership under Dr. George P. Abraham in PVS and Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi in 2012. He started the renal transplantation program at Yashoda Hospital, Ghaziabad in 2018 and at SSIMS, Gwalior in 2019. His team was lauded for the successful ABO-incompatible renal transplant during the peak of COVID-19 in 2020.
Dr. Pradeep Prakash (Consultant, Urology and Uro-Oncology)
Dr. Pradeep Prakash is one of the best urologists with more than 13 years of experience in the field of minimally invasive urology and urologic cancer surgery. He is an alumnus of the reputed AIIMS, New Delhi, and was awarded a two-year fellowship in Robotic Surgery and Uro-Oncology from AIIMS, New Delhi. He specialises in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgeries for the management of urologic cancers such as prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. His expertise lies in andrology and male infertility, which is a crucial but often neglected field in India.