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What is DTPA scan?

Answered by: Dr. Vijay Kher
Director - Deptt. of Nephrology & Transplant Medicine
Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital
New Delhi

Q. What is DTPA scan? The doctors (at NIMS, Hyderabad) have asked for this test after detecting mild hydronephrosis in the left kidney (ultrasound test); and duplicate collecting system (IVP and cystography tests). Your forum had also advised for these tests. Please clarify.

A.  DTPA scan is a radioactive tagged DTPA used to test the function of kidneys as well as find out if the problem is related to the obstruction of the urine flow in the ureters / bladder. It can also be used for checking circulation of blood through arteries of the kidney as well reflux of urine from bladder back into ureters. In summary it is a test for functional evaluation in comparison to ultrasound which is a test for structural evaluation and in combination can provide both functional and structural evaluation of kidneys and the urinary tract. In context of mild hydronephrosis and duplicate collecting system DTPA scan will be useful to find out if there is any obstruction in the urinary system on left side to explain for the mild hydronephrosis. DTPA is also a good test to follow up, improvement in kidney function following specific treatment.

A.  DTPA scan is a radioactive tagged DTPA used to test the function of kidneys as well as find out if the problem is related to the obstruction of the urine flow in the ureters / bladder. It can also be used for checking circulation of blood through arteries of the kidney as well reflux of urine from bladder back into ureters. In summary it is a test for functional evaluation in comparison to ultrasound which is a test for structural evaluation and in combination can provide both functional and structural evaluation of kidneys and the urinary tract. In context of mild hydronephrosis and duplicate collecting system DTPA scan will be useful to find out if there is any obstruction in the urinary system on left side to explain for the mild hydronephrosis. DTPA is also a good test to follow up, improvement in kidney function following specific treatment.

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