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When can a nursing mother go for a DTPA renal scan?

Q: My 33 years old wife is advised to go for renogram and renal scan with DTPA. Can she perform this investigation now as she is breast feeding her 2 months old child? She has gross hydronephrosis of left kidney.

A:Diethylene Triamine Penta-acetic Acid (DTPA) renal scan is a radioactive substance-based imaging test, which is used to study the blood flow and the function of each kidney. It can be safely performed in a nursing mother. However, one would need to avoid breast feed for the following 12-24 hours just to allow the clearance/excretion of the substance from the body system. During that period, one would be advised to express and discard the breast milk so as to prevent breast engorgement. Also, drinking plenty of liquids and emptying your bladder as frequently as possible following the test would also hasten the removal of the substance from the body. Lastly, if possible, try to avoid contact with the child for at least 12 hours post-test to prevent child exposure to the radioactive substance.

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