DMSA stands for dimercaptosuccinic acid, it is a radioactive substance (called a tracer) that is injected into a vein and enters the kidneys. It is allows a scan to be taken of the inside of the kidneys.

This test is carried out between 4 and 6 months after the urine infection was diagnosed. A small amount of radioactive material, called DMSA, is injected into your child’s vein – don’t worry, we can put some ‘magic’ (local anaesthetic) cream on beforehand so that this does not cause your child any pain. Usually, a blood test will be done at the same time to check your child’s kidney function.

After 2 hours, in which your child can play, eat and drink normally, the DMSA collects in the kidneys and pictures of their organs are taken with a special camera. If there is any scarring in the kidneys, this scan helps to show that.

Although DMSA is radioactive, it is only a very small quantity that is injected into the veins so will not expose your child to any more radiation than an ordinary x-ray.

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