Scintigraphy of the kidney
There are also two different types of scintigraphy of the kidneys:
- Static renal scinitgraphy is used to visualize the functional kidney tissue. Technetium DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) is usually used as the radioactive substance for this examination. It accumulates wherever living kidney tissue is present.
This allows, for example, the detection of an atypical position or shape of the two kidneys. After an inflammation, it can also be checked whether the kidney has been damaged.
- The dynamic scintigraphy represents the kidney function. The radioactive technetium MAG3 (mercaptoacetyl triglycerol) is often used for this purpose.
First, the substance is absorbed by the kidney tissue via an arm vein about 20 minutes after the injection. The kidneys then excrete it into the urine. The radioactive substance then enters the urinary tract with the urine and collects in the bladder.
During these processes, radiation measurements are taken with the gamma camera. From the data obtained, a side-separated graphic representation of the right and left kidney can be created. This so-called nephrogram can be used to assess whether normal kidney function or any restrictions are present. The function of the two kidneys can also be compared.
Scintigraphy for inflammation
If there is inflammation in the tissue, this leads to increased metabolic activity in the affected body region. This increased activity can be visualized with a scintigraphy. This method is therefore suitable for finding inflammatory foci.
For this reason, skeletal scintigraphy is used in rheumatism, for example, to detect or rule out inflammation in joints. In another method, inflammatory cells are specifically marked radioactively and thus inflammation foci are made visible with the gamma camera. In this method, known as leukocyte scintigraphy, blood is first taken from the patient and a radioactive substance is added to the white blood cells (leukocytes). These marked cells are then returned to the body.They spread with the blood and accumulate in inflamed tissue. They are made visible with the gamma camera and thus inflammations are detected.