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Kidney scan using radioactive dye - anyone?

(28 Posts)
hunkermunker Fri 27-May-05 11:56:02

13mo DS had a urinary tract infection in mid-April.

He's had an ordinary ultrasound and that was fine, it showed the kidneys were in the right place, the right size, his bladder was fine too.

At the follow-up appointment, he had his urine tested (clear), he was weighed, had his blood pressure taken - all fine.

But they want to check his kidneys weren't scarred by the infection so they are doing a DMSA examination on 8th August. He has to be sedated for this, as it will take half an hour and obviously he won't lie still long enough.

Because I'm pregnant, I don't think I'll be able to be with him (the paed we saw didn't think I would be able to anyway), but his dad will be with him.

So what I want to know is whether anybody has a child who's had this kind of scan and whether if it shows up as all clear, is he likely to have further tests? The paed also talked about monitoring him as he grows up because of the effect scarring from a UTI can have on kidneys as they grow. I'm very glad they're being so thorough, but feel awful about not being there for his scan

hunkermunker Fri 27-May-05 13:23:37


fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:27:34

He is likely to have further scans even if it shows all clear, they could just be ultrasounds though. My DS has had a whole host of gamma scans. I think in our hospital the policy is pregnant women are not allowed to stand near the scanning table thing, but you may be allowed in the room with him. DS's was due to swollen kidneys in the womb, one of them shrunk and scarred and they operated on the other...he's also being watched for scarring, but is only getting ultrasounds at the moment

The radiographers at the hospital were great with DS, the worst bit is putting the wee tube in his foot/hand and injecting in the sedative and dye, after that it's great...they take the tube out straight away. And if you're allowed in you get to watch the kidneys coming into view on the screen and everything....I hope it all goes well!!

Hulababy Fri 27-May-05 13:28:02

Sorry - don't know a child who has had this, but wanted to bump for you.

I have had this -but not as a child, was about 18/19. Only other tests I had to have were ultrasound and urine type testing - which it sounds like he has had already.

Don't worry about not being in with him - his daddy will be there. And you could always offer him a present for afterwards for being such a brave boy.

Hope it goes well.

Janh Fri 27-May-05 13:28:35

Aw, hunker...

You will be able to be with him right up to where he gets the radioactive bit though? I mean they will sedate him elsewhere and you can be there while they do that? After that he won't know you're not there (even though you will).

I don't know anything about it though, sorry.

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:29:06

(He will have a radioactive nappy afterwards I warn you! ) They make older children pee in a special toilet afterwards!

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:29:46

You should be able to hold and comfort him for the injecting bit...and that's the only bit that's going to upset him honest!

hunkermunker Fri 27-May-05 13:30:38

Thanks ladies, you're all fab. Just feeling really emotional about it - I know it's something they do all the time, but not to my baby

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:34:39

I know just how you feel hunker, don't be afraid to sob about it, I did! DS didn't even notice the needle bit, they used 'magic cream' but it made me cry!

hunkermunker Fri 27-May-05 13:38:13

Doesn't help that I have pg hormones making me overemotional about the daftest things! So when it's something like this - floodgates!

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:39:41

I'm like that too, I'm probably going to cry and DS's next ultrasound in Sept, I'll be 8 months gone by then! They'll understand

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:40:49

cry at the next ultrasound... bah.

bakedpotato Fri 27-May-05 13:42:26

Oh, HM. It's all scary stuff, but it is precautionary.

DS had dilated renal pelvis picked up at 20-wks scan. He has had a number of follow up scans to check his kidneys. At around 3 mths, he went back for a series of check-up scans, one bog-standard ultrasound, and one more detailed and invasive. Not sure if this is like the one your boy will have, but I'll post it anyway, probably not wildly dissimilar though obviously an easier procedure with a young baby than a curious, wriggly toddler.

I was dreading it, but it was fine, the staff were brilliant. They put a tiny catheter in his willy , filled his bladder with radioactive dye, pulled the catheter out and watched the dye filter through his system until he weed it out (all over the nurses) -- they were concerned to see if there were signs of reflux, which there weren't. DS was conscious, and found the whole thing jolly . The process took about 10-15 minutes.

Even though the results were good, he will have to go back at around 1 yr for a further followup. HTH.

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:43:20

That's the reflux test don't tell her about that one bakedpotato!!!!!

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:44:41

That one is really nasty (sorry but it is!) DS screamed and screamed when he had his and his testicles were purple afterwards cos they had to hold him down so much....(I'm quite sure your DS won't get that one hunker)

bakedpotato Fri 27-May-05 13:45:08

oh sorry, am i muddling up my medical procedures?

bakedpotato Fri 27-May-05 13:45:36

it was a highlight of DS's week

fastasleep Fri 27-May-05 13:46:55

It's the same dye but it's a more accurate test to look at the tubes rather than just how the kidneys are draining, to look for scarring they just inject the dye into a vein and watch as it filters through (you don't get any real picture of the tubes) as long as they haven't mentioned ureters reflux and obstructions to hunker then her DS shouldn't get one!

Lolasmum Fri 27-May-05 14:00:46

Dd had this test done on Monday at Kings. I'm pregnant (33 weeks) and they let me sit with her the whole time. Apparently the amount of radio-active die they use is so small (Dd is 2 1/2) that it is safe for us to be with her. But, we had to be in a different waiting room and use different toilets to keep away from the other patients.

The staff were brilliant. They had lots of videos to watch to distract her. We were there for the whole day in the end. They didn't sedate dd, but they did strap her down to stop her from wriggling. That was the most unpleasant bit. She kept shouting "I'm stuck Mummy, get me out". The "magic cream" seemed to really work, or at least, she didn't complain when they put the feeder tube in her hand for the drip. YOu need to have the craem on for 1hr before hand. Dd had to have her tests due to repeated urinary tract infections as well.

I hope all goes well for your ds.

suedonim Fri 27-May-05 17:03:02

Dd1 had this test a few years ago. She was very upset because she couldn't manage to pee afterwards. But she didn't require any further tests, thank goodness. I remember that I was told not to let baby dd2 sit on dd1's lap for a day or two, though.

hunkermunker Fri 27-May-05 19:27:28

Thanks again, ladies - very reassuring. BP, they talked about doing the up the willy test, but said it was unkind if there weren't definitely problems, so they'd wait for the results of this one first. If he does need that one, I shall post again, no doubt in bigger floods!

connorsmum Sat 28-May-05 10:40:30

Hi Hunker,

My ds had a DMSA scan in october last year. He was 3 1/2 months old at the time. His results came back saying that he had small area of reduced activity in the lower zones of both kidneys. They couldn't rule out patient movement and that's why he's having it repeated on 8th June. Since then, I am sure that he has had another UTI (unconfirmed).

I hope that your ds scan comes back clear.

The test itself is painless to the child. At out hospital, they use "magic cream" on the hand to numb the injection site. This has always worked well for Jamie and he has had more blood tests and cannula's than I care to remember (he's a heart baby). They inject the dye and you then go away for a couple of hours (about 3). They then get put on a scanner bed. There is a camera under them and another over the top, it doesn't touch them but comes down close to them, so it can make them feel a bit cluasterphobic I guess. It takes about 30 minutes to do the scan.

I would imagine that as Jamie will be nearly 1 that they will sedate him this time, we had enough trouble keeping him still last time, so I don't hold out any hope now! I was then told that I would have to keep him away from pg women for 24 hours and to change his nappy very frequently and dispose of them seperately.

daisy1999 Sat 28-May-05 11:18:47

my dd aged 5 had this 2 months ago. I was worried sick about it beforehand but it was fine.
She had a urinary tract infection, the ultrasound showed up a slight shadow which they wanted to double check.
At the dmsa she was given an application of cream to numb her hand. The nurses were fantastic and the play assistant read with her while she sat on my knee and had the radioactive dye injected. DD said it hurt a little but she was going to be brave!
I stayed with her whilst she had the scan. At her age she didn't need sedating they just put a video on for her.
It took 20-30mins for the scan but that was in 5 min bursts,she had to stay still whilst they scanned but she could move in the intervals.
We have had the results and she is clear, she is going back in a year for a review and then she will be discharged.
It is very rare for a child to have kidney damage after an infection but the medical profession take it very seriously as if there is damage it could be very serious if not treated.

sallycinnamon Sat 28-May-05 11:33:15

Surely they should be able to give you 1 of those lead lined aprons to protect the bub. My dd had the same test as she has renal reflux that was diagnosed as colic for the 1st 10 months of her life. Putting the line into her hand was not too bad- she didn't even flinch because of the magic cream. DD had the test when she was 16 months and they didn't sedate her, I just took loads of bags of sweets and thought to hell with the tooth decay I'll worry about that later! The radiographer was fab and put teletubbies on the video and sang songs to her. Its upsetting seeing your child on a hospital bed and I guess more so if you're hormonal- but really it wasn't too bad at all.

sallycinnamon Sat 28-May-05 11:35:54

I agree with Daisy. IMO it is rare for the kidneys to be damaged. I was very worried about this as dd had what must have been a continual urine infection for months and months and she's fine now. In fact we're hoping that she'll come off the antibiotics at the next appointment.

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