Kidney imaging

Techniques for visualizing the kidneys, usually performed for diagnosis. Ultrasound scanning can be used to identify kidney enlargement, a cyst or tumour, and the site of any blockage. Conventional X-rays show the outline of the kidneys and most kidney stones. Intravenous urography shows the internal anatomy of the kidney and ureters. Angiography is used to image blood circulation through the kidneys. CT scanning and MRI provide detailed cross-sectional images and can show abscesses or tumours. Two types of radionuclide scanning are used for the kidney: DMSA and DTPA scanning. DMSA is a substance given by intravenous injection that binds to cells in the kidney tubule, giving a single, static picture of the kidneys. DTPA, also given intravenously, is filtered in the kidneys and passes out in the urine. Pictures taken at intervals record its passage through the urinary tract and show kidney function.


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